The Big Two-hearted River was wonderful, even got a few hours of sunshine which broke through the trees with a welcome display after rain. I love Michigan's north country. Spent time roaming the shoreline of Lake Superior. The big lake foamed from near gale force winds, the blowing sand stinging my bare legs. I went out to Whitefish Point, what a sight. This November will be the 30th anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking 20 miles northwest of there. I started reading Uncle Tom's Cabin (a first for me).
On the way back home, stayed in Sault Ste. Marie for showers and food, and got to watch one of the 1000 foot freighters make it through the locks. It's always amazing to me to see who they can get a boat that's a 1000 feet long and 105 feet wide through a lock that is only 110 feet wide (the lock is nearly 1400 feet long). Such size leaves only about 2.5 feet on each side of the ship--that's tighter than trying to back my truck into my garage.
This is a second draft of the poem I had in the previous post (it's a little tighter but still not where I want it).
Ode to Lovers Lost and Unknown
I never danced upstairs at the Luminia
The ballroom exposed to the evening breeze from offshore
Cooling guest Jitterbugging and dancing the Charleston
under the bright lights that guided ship captains
who sailed the coastline until ‘42,
when darkness prevailed due to the threat of German U-boats.
And I never laid in the sand on the beach
watching silent movies projected on a screen
beyond the breakers, a constant rhythm,
for the antics of Mr. Fields and company
until a nor’easter flatted the screen,
by then obsolete with the new talking shows.
And I never rode the electric trolley
ten miles from the beach to Wilmington
late at night under live oaks haunted with Spanish moss,
passing the new bungalows on Wrightsville Avenue,
the summer air scented with honeysuckle
and the sky filled with lightning bugs and Perseids meteors
I did get to shoot pool, a quarter a game
in the shell of a building once called the Luminia
and I showered shower underneath the rotting building
rinsing by body in brackish water,
unaware of the splendor long past
or the soon to be wrecking crew clearing for condos.
Time passed me by
and I’ll never have a chance to dance with you at the Luminia,
to watch the light reflect in your eyes
and the wind to blow your dress and toss your hair.
But if I had the chance, I’d pull you tight,
my arm around your waist, my head chin tucked on your shoulder
savoring the moment.