The spring tides, always high, are higher now, swallowing
the boards, the pilings place-markers for memory, for warnings.
There in the small bit of damp cove we once found a dog, drowned,
a Weimaraner, its tail docked, pelt like burnished pewter.
Someone tried to tell us it was just a fox, as if trying to protect us
from something. As if a fox was less tragic than a dog.
As if wildness was a lesser thing.
The path makes a small climb past the cliffs, the persimmon trees,
to the empty pasture where once the old thoroughbred stood
with his broken leg, waiting for us to come and end the waiting;
orb of its kind eye looked at us as if its sorrow was something it didn’t want
us to bear, looked at us the way we look at a parent as they cross.
Next summer when the tides are low, the dock dry and lichen painted,
pastures un-grazed grown tall—the land will continue to empty and fill
despite our small passages.
It is in the heart of Amish country
and originally called Cross Keys.
Theories of the re-naming:
—an old word for fellowship and social interaction
—the road sign for a now defunct racetrack: enter course (with an arrow)
—two main roads intersecting in the heart of town
The sign is frequently stolen.
The movie, Witness, was filmed there (the town name never mentioned).
Tourists flood the streets in summer,
have a bowl of chicken-corn chowder at Harvest Café,
buy a hex sign,
then head up the highway to Bird-in-Hand,
originally called Enterprise.
Linda Blaskey is a regular presenter at conferences and panels, and one of her latest projects is founding and editing Quartet, an online poetry journal featuring the work of women aged fifty-plus that has been read in over 40 countries. She is also working with various foundations to establish a position for a Delaware county poet laureate. Her debut book of poems is White Horses (Mojave River Press, 2019). She is one of the four Delaware poets in Walking the Sunken Boards (Pond Road Press, 2019). Her latest collection is a collaboration with the poet jim bourney, entitled Season of Harvest (Pond Road Press, 2022)