Anyone watching nearby her wood and iron bench
might think she focused on sun’s final dip,
hoped to catch the end flash of pistachio green,
not the silhouettes of awk and pelican
like weary guards roosting the rocks.
She is counting their heads—
five large and three small—
but two fly away while four jockey in
and the gulls won’t allow any much rest
with their endless careening and near wrecks.
She must start again from the northern tip.
This is the way she steadies internal swells and tides,
by counting what can’t be counted,
often blaming her chaos on what can’t be blamed.
Sometimes, numbers blurring near dusk, she looks for day’s green blink.
It is light’s mix of gold and blue,
a short hyphen between sea, sun and sky.
She tilts on the bench seat, her body a salute.
What briefly was, no longer is. A nod,
acquiescence acknowledged with this turning earth,
these curious birds with ready wings at rest.