Done; the day begun
beside an old woman
with a golden dog scuttering
on a walk by a pier.

I admired out loud
the charm of the spaniel
examining seaweed,
nose twitching with suspicion.

The Chappy ferry belched
the fishers’ shoulders bent
their poles limp
poor and patient.

Later we’d lost track of time,
left after noon after
an old trucker flashed his headlights
and a younger one let me pass,

after which on the off-season beach
a stocky regular
carrying her black bichon and folding chair
stripped to a two-piece,

tested the October late brine,
strode knee-deep
lowered her hips
and settled softly among the striped bass.