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Sombrio Beach

John Barton

except for a screen of hemlock resisting sunlight along the shore, they clearcut this hillside tilting in somersaults toward dazzled water, laying bare the fragrant abysmal shade we cascade our way down through, agile memory of a trail still slick beneath our feet, slipping past lichened boulders cedars toppling, midnight roots torn up by storm breakers of birdcall and white noise spilling us whole at path’s end, oceanward lured by excess foam receding beyond pools the tides abandon
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old growth hid from us once by a now lumbered darkness in absence grows vivid as, wind-rough ice-glazed and soil-eroded, we move unopposed through light and a glancing carnage of savage stumps, Cape Flattery cast adrift and comatose across the strait, glare baring what we are loathe to bear, grief and a love of the scarcely travelled cheering us elsewhere, though every back road returns us here, turns us toward the unexpected exposed to sun and silence, sometimes to tears.





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