Casco Bay, July

There are many watershed moments,
not Hallmark, not Kodak
I will remember about knowing you,
and wish I could purge from memory.
But the evening we paddled
out from Mackworth Island
on the limpid, calm bay
in a slight, freshening breeze
and twelve curious seals slid off their grey rock
and encircled us in the water
while we sat motionless, scarcely breathing,
kayaks barely moving in the still water
and the only sound was the crying of gulls…
the seals’ whiskery faces and dark eyes
regarding us solemnly
while they kept us in their circle,
diving and resurfacing and moving
around us so gracefully —
that moment
I do not wish away.

Alice Persons

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