Under the Sky

Robert VanderMolen

How it was, after the babies,
One week’s vacation at the shore
During late July, trying to isolate
A hummock of time in which to be dazed,
Beer in the mug, the slant of sunsets,
Fried chicken seasoned with sand.
All of us thinner, sweat-dried, more prone
To anger. With a housecat prowling
Through dune grass . . .

And they made a film of it. I’ve forgotten
The name of the one who played me.
Someone with more hair on his body.
My wife was shorter with a robust bosom.
While a character died reluctantly
Snatched by a rip in the current
And roiled beyond the sandbar
(where brown trout lurked like torpedoes),
Bubbles becoming foam.
We used to joke about monstrous sturgeon
Fish that would slip into shallows
To suck up infants . . .

Eventually we scattered:
Through divorces, disreputable habits,
Windfalls and death.
The actors disappeared too –
Unlike us, they played in the last Westerns,
Never left Montana
After they were cashiered.
Plains rising into a wall of mountains.
I’ve often considered driving west
After steaming across on the ferry . . .