You breathe in the dank air,
the leavings of low tide left to bake in the sun.
The air is still as the place you have lived
these many years,
alive, yet lacking vibrance, lacking
a sense of movement,
mired in that moment between tides.
In the distance, a bird flies, too far
away to know what species it may be,
broad black wings spread,
catching the updraft as it floats above the salt marsh.
It is the offseason, the time
when tourists abandon the shores,
when the sun shines cold
and the shops and diners close
for lack of life.
You sniff the air.
The wind shifts and you can smell the salt water.
Returning with the new tide.
Soon the wood ducks will return.
Fish will leap the water and splash.
Soon the eddies will fill with water
and the entire landscape will change.
It will fill
You smile, glad you waited the low ebb out
to see the world change before your eyes.
“There is magic,” you think to yourself,
“and I have lived it.”
Seagulls cry out, returning to the marshland.
You finger the rings in your pocket, and smile again.
A bride awaits.
The tide has turned.
About this poem
I am getting married in a little less than two weeks.
The picture was taken at Cape Cod, near Chatham.