Next to Last Lines Faithful -- to Our Past
Do You Remember?

Do you remember still our all-day sail
And picnic on that limpid August day?
At ten we climbed aboard El Jaleo
And promptly hoisted sail for our adventure;
A lightish morning breeze filled the mainsail
As lazily the boat slipped down the harbor;
We glided through the hidden, narrow entrance
Dramatically guarded by an upthrust
Of boulders heaped on high by Nature's whim,
And looking like an ancient, rough-hewn pulpit;
A sea hawk's nest, where birds were circling, topped
The craggy pile, a sentinel well known
To mariners along the coast of Maine.
Out on the bay, as morning wind grew stronger,
We headed south and beat toward Crabtree Point;
We whipped along and cut a boiling swath
Of white-green foam, while iridescent spray
Blew fancy-free across the plunging bow,
And aft a foaming wake marked out our passage.

We fetched the headland in a single tack
And soon were sailing in more quiet waters,
Protected by that lovely maze of islands
Strung out for miles and miles in granite grandeur,
With sculptured harbors, inlets, cliffs and hills,
And shorelines—rugged, ragged, giant-strewn
With sprawling rocks of every shape and color,
Twisted tree-trunks, spars of old wrecked ships
And all the other jetsam of ten thousand
Ferocious storms and immemorial tides.
Do you remember, too, how then I steered
The boat within ten feet of that steep cliff
Where I, of course, well knew the depth of water
And where you had a faint access of nerves,
Then laughingly admired my nerve and skill?
Can you remember, as I do so well,
Everything we said and saw and did
That long, delicious day 'neath sun and sky?

At last we reached our goal of Outpost Island,
And on the leeward side dropped anchor safely;
We gaily rowed ashore and felt our way
Over the brownish seaweed-slippery rocks,
Then took the transverse trail across the island;
We sauntered through thick groves of evergreens—
All draped with beards of gray-green Spanish moss—
Enjoyed the forest fragrance and the shade,
Stood raptly listening to the massive silence
And picked up dry pine needles by the handful
To let them freely run through open fingers;
Then suddenly the path turned sharply west
And opened on a pink-white granite bluff
That jutted out above the surging breakers—
A height once shaped and carved by glacial drift,
And looking out in three diverse directions.

Do you remember how we sat and sighed
In awe that fused with wonder and delight,
Absorbing in a trance the sweeping view?
The mountain-studded mainland to the west
Reclining like a great gigantic lion;
The little archipelago engirding
The eastern sound; and then off to the south
Old ocean's lazy, undulating swell,
The sparkling glory of the restless sea.
We sat together on that beauteous bluff,
Held hands and talked, day-dreamed and reminisced,
Exploring deeply life's profoundest meaning
And our profoundest meaning for each other.

We rested after lunch, and read aloud
Some of our best-loved poems; then listened to
The white-winged seagulls cawing stridently
To their capricious mates in hide-and-seek.
We heard the wind a-gossip mid the trees,
The faint and steady splash-wash of the waves
Invisibly a-billowing and breaking;
We reveled in the mighty panorama
Extending in a broken arc before us;
In distant motion white sails brightly flashed,
While vagabonding clouds roamed o'er the sky;
The sun was summer-hot and warmed the rocks;
We felt its luscious heat and I remarked,
"The sun itself must worship you, my love."

Came finally the long sail home; we ran
With wind-taut sail before the stiff sou'wester,
Scudding past the myriad isles again,
Then racing across the choppy western bay;
The sun was sinking fast behind the backdrop
Of far-off mountains rising from the mist,
And soon lit up with opalescent glow
The long, low-lying strips of wispy clouds;
The breeze had lightened to a fairy's breath
As silently we crept into the harbor
And glided in and out the quiet fleet
Until we reached the safety of our mooring.
The day was over and the sail was ended,
But only just beginning was our love.


Copyright © 1972, 1983, 1994 by Corliss Lamont.
Copyright © 2001-2021 by Half-Moon Foundation, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Next to Last Lines Faithful -- to Our Past

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