Fog Descending on Otter Cliffs
A white triangle of sail billows up, then down
slowly saturated by pillows of fog fanning
over the pink and gray speckled stones.
My mother loved opera. We listen to the music
of Carreras during our last moonlit picnic.
Old age memories can fracture like the rays
of a full moon, drift out to sea, slip into the night rise
until only a body remains, a hum of what was once
the entire opera.
Tonight we hear the muffled clang of the bellwether
mouthing its own rhythm, the warning call to sailors
that the shape of these rocks can be dangerously
softened in the songs of fog, cliff edges obliterated
in the twilight smile of a cold moon.
When my mother dies, I'll sing as I scatter her ashes
over these cliffs, the gritty fog will swirl about, scattering
tiny puffs that will ride the wind under the watchful stare
of seabirds. They'll rise up, flap wings in anticipation
of recovering even a tiny morsel of something they too
might have lost.
Susan Morse earned her Masters degree in Literacy Education at the University of Maine, Orono, and spent a summer working with the Maine Writers’ Project. She taught English/Language Arts at the middle school level for many years before retiring to Oregon in 2016 where she served on the board of the Oregon Poetry Association. Her first chapbook , In the Hush, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019. Susan's work has also appeared in various journals including Cream City Review, The Mom Egg, The Aurorean, Sixfold, Cirque, Willawaw Journal, and The Poeming Pigeon, to name a few. She recently won the 2021 NFSPS New York State Poetry Forum Award.