Still Sea Life, Long Island, New York

R. Nemo Hill



Nothing is so beautiful as spring.

The mud sucks up the filthy snow
and swallows. From the shrunken mass
the bus-stop beer cans crown and grow.
A season’s meanness dots the grass.
We wait; we wait. The weather breaks.
It heaves the bones of old mistakes:

Where gulls pick trash from parking lots
and dandelions brood the seed
set to subvert our garden plots,
we pick our poisons weed by weed
and plan. We plan; we never learn
these are the tricks the seasons turn

while down the alleys’ potholed lines,
through muscled-open windows come
the mower-motors’ manic whines
and street rods at the stoplight hum
hard vices in their deepest throats,
decades-old discordant notes,

menace we never quite forget.
We wait. We are not younger yet.