Today's poem is by Peter Makuck

Hurricane Warning: Surfers

Around the bend slides an ocean eerie with storm lights
and them at serious play: red and yellow wet suits, blue

and lime, their unconcern a reminder of something
long forgotten but now too strong to let go. Wind tugs

our pants and sleeves and has our hair fly back like spume
from the crests of fifteen footers rolling in. We lean

against the wind and hear the fringe of pampas grass
threshing above the beach where these boys worry

not a jot for tomorrow and make light of leaden swells—
a dream of Waimea Bay and the ache of endless summer

come at last to the Carolinas. Oblivious of snapping red flags,
riptides and undertows, they wait for one moment

to lift them, a force evolving shape within us, making us
wait too, smile when the curl flexes and tilts them ahead

toward a lethal bottom of sand. How they tame the edge,
gravity giving way to a grace of their own making!

Some miss the moment and wait still, and when we leave
the island, exiled inland, I'm not even thinking of our house

turned to matchwood. Days later, through sweaty hours
of shingle and tack, chainsaw and tree limb, I still see

that boy farthest out, the one waiting past friends, now up
in one motion, his wetsuit blazing orange, ready to defy all ruin.

Copyright © 2005 Peter Makuck All rights reserved
from Off-Season in the Promised Land
BOA Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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