So some of his friends made
it out for his last, weathered
the late March rain, thin and soaking
as wave crests on a prow. Better
to have scattered him off
of Newfoundland, says one. Another,
He hated Scottish pipes. But again,
it was the best his widow could do:
Cape May, near the lighthouse, near
where the cold water smacks the sand
and froths mightily, exaggeratedly. And we
two onlookers sit perched beneath
a frayed umbrella on the beach, still
warm from breakfast and soon to set
out shelling, imagine him thus: bookish
more than bawdy, but grown full of tales.
Even the conchs we find later, blue-bleached
ocean bones strewn in halves and quarters,
know no better.
Gwen Wille lives and works in West Chester, PA. She studied writing at the University of New Mexico. Her work has appeared in San Pedro River Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Crow Toes Quarterly, among others. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in the woods with her son, husband, and high-spirited spaniel.