Late in the day, encountering face to face
Two sons of bitches, each at a time and place
I'd never seen either one of them before.
And the day, picketed by this polluting pair,
Went wrong; running in the dusk I now retrace
The slight brain-lurches that put me off my pace ...
The slippages of heed that are my despair!
So I run along full of my latest blunder --
And everything's still, but a distant simmering
From the sea, the light rakes low, the tide is neap,
In the strange peace I nearly halt in wonder
At water in thin clear layers wavering
On the fl at sand -- a kind of shining sleep.
In the deep dusk I make his fi gure out
Eyeing me as I wheel the Z about
Five yards from his white gate-bars and hesitate
At the open Exit. Never before so late,
I park on up the road. He has the clout
To turn me back, I half expect his shout
As I slip through the nearly dark parking lot:
Cold wind. Dark sea with sharp little peaks all over.
This long bright strip I'm running on is lighter
Than the sky! Back where the beach is dark some water
Or foam -- no, the white patch on a wing is fl ashing.
Five terns -- still seeing fi sh! -- plunge, wheel, hover.
Black stubs of surfers lift on a swell -- that's passion.