October 12, 2017

York Beach, 2006 by Marianne Szlyk

On a summer night without even
a ceiling fan to stir sludgy air,
I open the window to ocean,
the susurrus of waves and cars.
People almost my age weave home.
They’ve been drinking at Long Sands,
watching the moonlight shatter high tide.

Lying on the couch to escape
the stifling guest room, I dream
I’m back in my grandmother’s house
where, at 107, Gram’s still alive,
a tall woman shrunken
to an abandoned rag doll
on a beige mohair armchair.

Clutching the railing, fearing the stairs
will not bear weight, I climb
to where now only spiders live. 
I open windows to flashing sirens,
fire trucks racing down Lunenburg Street
over the bluster of men walking
home with cans of malt liquor
from Minit Mart where Gram bought
hamburger and pink tomatoes.

I spring awake to the quiet
of an oceanfront house.
My elderly parents sleep below.
I lie back down, wondering what
my grandmother would have told me,
what I would have done next
in this other world.


Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is... Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press.   Recently her poem was selected by Red Bird Chapbooks for its Weekly Read.  She encourages you to send work to her magazine. For more information about it, see this link: http://thesongis.blogspot.com/ 


  1. Greetings from the UK. I enjoyed reading your poetic piece, well done.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.


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