No Escape

by Charlotte Wolf

We had to buy the crabs moving, as in scrabbling
sideways across the rough-planked, salt-bleached dock
away from grabbing rubber-gloved fingers.

“It’s no big deal, they don’t even feel it.”
Mainlanders all our lives, what did we know?

We were glad to be there, a full day’s drive
from Jersey’s brown-yellow air to blue-green coastal Maine
land of constant ocean and pungent fir where mica diamonds dance
on granite they tell us is millions of years old. Millions.

I tried to feel that through my sandals
teetering at the edge of heaving green and white surf.

Well they lied. The rock may have been here before dinosaurs
but don’t try to tell me when the sides of that boiling pot reverberated
with the scraping and clawing and lid-bumping of desperate creatures
they didn’t feel anything.

Our car smelled of ocean all the way home.

Charlotte Wolf returned to university in her fifties to obtain a master’s degree and rediscovered the joys of writing. After retiring from publishing, she moved to North Carolina. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Buick Bugle. A short story of hers appears in the anthology, Clothes Lines, and two others will soon be published in the anthology, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. Her poetry has been published in the anthology, Jubilate! A Celebration of Poetry.

About No Escape—This poem is a reflection on my eye-opening experience when our family took its first vacation trip to the rugged coast of Maine. It seems my poems, more so than my prose, serve mostly the natural world. It may have something to do with my having grown up an only child in a sparsely populated rural community well before the advent of television. Imagination and invention defined my world of play which, when not swinging from trees, I shared mostly with small animals, birds, insects abiding amongst unkempt fields of wildflowers, adventuring streams, and a nearby aromatic pasture of placid cows.