Lines to Elizabeth
The balloon you gave me
hugs my living-room ceiling, sways
a long red ribbon
above my favorite chair.
I watch from the kitchen
the silver bulb hovering
like the gulls we feed at the park.
Mallards and geese cluster
at our feet, squawking
and honking for crumbs. We shake some
from our bags for them.
But it's the gulls we toss our bread to.
We might stay
for an hour, loving
how they quiver in the air
then swoop for a crust.
We love how they shine
some white in the April sun
gray as the rocks
at the beach we explored. Winter
chapped our cheeks as we discovered
things we had not come for: a jellyfish
drifting in a tidal pool, the sand
dollar I warmed between my hands for you,
razor clams, a skate egg case,
like the lobster buoys among the waves
tethered to a certain depth
by an imperceptible line.