Here stood Miles Standish,

military leader of Plymouth

Colony, looking out to sea:

where now a nuclear

power

plant stands,

about to be de-

commissioned.

 

Clams squirt vertically

from underneath the

sand at low tide,

as tall as

Pilgrim Nuclear

 

the ending

of this era

is all error:

in retreat

from the world,

like Ming dynasty ships,

once wide-ranging,

rotting in place.

sailors, explorers

called back from

cultures

other than their own,

wrecked junks

in estuaries,

rivers,

channels.

 

Pulling in ladders,

bridges,

refusing

to let citizens of other

countries

come in –

hunkering down to

   make America great;

insisting

America first!

 

lack of faith,

of foresight.

 

by the shore

soft blue water,

strip of warm orange sand,

sparkling waves all speak

of nature’s beneficence

but in the winter,

Miles and others

learned

the cold, sere, ice-crusted shore

is too cold to walk on

 

what did he see,

looking out to the new landscape,

what future portend,

sword buckled

to his belt,

glass held up to his eye….

 

Sarah Sutro’s work is published in Amsterdam Quarterly; Panorama, Journal of Intelligent Travel; Rockhurst Review; The Big Chili; Greylock Independent and anthologies From the Finger Lakes, Bangkok Blondes, Unbearable Uncertainty, and Improv. Author of the poetry book, Etudes, as well as COLORS: Passages through Art, Asia and Nature, she works as an editor and writes articles and reviews for American Arts Quarterly. She has been finalist for the Robert Frost Poetry Award and Mass. Cultural Council Fellowship in poetry, and been a resident at MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Ossabaw Island Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, and the American Academy in Rome.