Grapetree Bay, Saint Croix, Morning
The day continued as it should.
The transient rain shower having given way
to a pale sky with only hoary wisps at the horizon,
the morning pelicans and egrets resumed their ritual:
beating wings once or twice and kicking off the fragments of breakers
out by the shallow coral heads, then lifting up in a current of air,
gliding over the cuticle of shoreline,
patiently waiting for a flash of scales
beneath the rhythm of a surf that never ends
but breathes with measured constancy, waiting out the several billion years
left to the mother of us all, the small womb the Earth
that gave life to each of us,
each bird shaking out its wet feathers,
each palm tree leaning toward the low brush, the hibiscus and ginger thomas,
each mongoose scurrying through the knots of yellow grass
at the near end of the beach.
Grapetree Bay, Saint Croix, Afternoon
Three terns perch on the breaker.
Like the pelicans this morning,
they face the trade wind, but now the sun behind them
helps dry their little white feathers.
The pelicans have moved
down to the rocks that have soaked in the heat of the day.
From their crags and perches, they will watch the tide tumble
below them. When the sun sinks lower, the pelicans will unfurl
into pillars of warm air to search
for fresh school fish.
But for now, each end of the beach is the dominion of content birds.
The tide keeps washing in, keeps crashing against the rocks, keeps time.
The afternoon is too hot for flying and diving. Even the sunburnt beachgoers
relish the warm, slow hours to nap before mango daiquiris and evening.
BIO: Greg Hill is a writer, voice over talent, college English adjunct professor and high school math tutor in West Hartford, Connecticut. He has an MFA from Vermont of College of Fine Arts. His poems have appeared in Past Ten, Atlas and Alice, Cheap Pop and elsewhere. Selected work is curated at www.gregjhill.com.