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Isles of Shoals
           (for Celia Laighton Thaxter)
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Celia's heart
cried out for home.
Landlocked, she longed for
black hills,
high cliffs
the froth and foam,
of tidepools;
where sandpipers
bobbed along
hard packed island sand.
Where among driftwood
kingfishers searched
in ocean's spray
for crustaceans
such easy prey, plucked
from that northern sea.

Childe painted her in summer's garden
clad in white lawn, against blood red poppies
this painter of flags, carriages,
and crowds in rain.
He sets her down on canvas
framed by hollyhocks
and bayberry, bright and green,
above a shining sea;
high above the gravel shoals
no wisps of hair escape
bun, or brush,
or artist's eye.
landscape lush, pristine,
rivers running softly
to mingle with the sea

Near the whitened ledge,
the jagged edge,
they tiptoed gingerly
upon the fourteen
Spaniard's graves
'neath broken rock
and scree.
As the waves
rose and fell
in the ocean's
pull and swell,
sunlight glimmered
off billowed sails;
the wind laden
with the scent
of salt and sea

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