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Post Road Magazine #32

Late Summer

Gail Mazur

I stood on the flats with the sandpipers and the gulls. The flock of pipers was not afraid of the enormous fierce-looking gulls, and the gulls were unafraid of me.

And none of us was diminished by the other.

The harsh cries of those gulls, the piping syllabics of such tiny running birds, the invisible protein they foraged.

Their meticulous little bills, their genius at finding in the biofilm what they needed.

Soon all but the gulls would leave, their season here over, and I, too, would leave.

When I walked back to the shore over tide-strewn pebbles and the jagged shells of oysters and scallops and crabs, my feet had become a child's feet again, uncomplaining, pliant.

Time had gone by, but in those moments, there was no pain. I recalled nothing of grief or fear or despair.

Grief, fear, despair—as if I were sleepwalking, those were not the elements of that August afternoon.



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