November, Southern Tip of Assateague

The surf fishermen cast in the ocean,
lacing salt water to sand as their trucks
graze patiently behind them.  Gulls circle;
a man sitting wrapped in a dark blanket
unfolds wings as a stranger approaches
and takes to the air, just like an eagle.
The wind and the waves are engines that turn
the earth’s face to the moon and then the sun.
The bay shore gives an illusion of calm
between each dawn and dusk when everything
seems timeless, but wakes a little older.
The fishermen fill buckets with their catch:
disoriented prey who never see
land nor sky until their luck deserts them
and they find they can neither walk nor fly.
The eagle settles back once I walk past.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.