Saturday, January 9, 2010

Three Degrees

From my Cape Cod Days chapbook.

Three Degrees at Race Point

Its was three degrees, but
they were three good ones
when I coaxed my car to start.

I drove the frozen wasteland
empty and desolate as only
a tourist town in winter can be.

We walked half a mile
across the frozen breakwater,
cold water on either side.

Falling in could mean hypothermia;
perhaps death before rescue
from the cold Atlantic water.

Perhaps the tide would come in
stranding us at the Race Point Light.
We might not come home.

The adventure took us onward,
the point of the whole thing
being a snowy owl seen out there.

It was at Race Point,
the far end of the Cape,
beyond the breakwaters and roads.

The bird had sense enough to fly
further South than usual,
sense enough to keep warm.

It was the coldest winter in years.
Having more sense than me,
The owl got the point.

We arrived at Race Point
and missed the point,
the snowy owl that is.

The owl abandoned Cape Cod to us
and to a short earned owl
an unusual sighting in its own right.

The short eared owl was not
a lifetime achievement for me,
or for my friend.

My friend’s wife had warned us
not to go and wrung her hands at
our impending death and doom.

She said “I always thought
you bird watchers were crazy,
and now I know for sure.”

1 comment:

  1. A windy point in any season. Been close but not all the way out. I could feel the cold. Like making it to the end of the world....
    and no prize.

    Liked it