A Branch Of Beach Plum

Most days I walk the old track under the pines
and over the dunes to the beach.
I have chosen for you the bend in the path
where a thicket of beach plum survives the backhoes,
where at noon in our season the air
used to be heavy with the smell of blossoms.
This morning I walked on the brown needles
as gently as I could so that no abrupt
gesture would temper the music of the warblers
in the spruce. Returning, I broke off
a branch of beach plum and carried it home.
Now it rises from the blue vase on the mantel,
the flowers, fragile and pink, beginning to wither,
one broken twig oozing a clear drop.
Yes, that is where I should like to meet you,
halfway between home and the shore, knowing
that back there are kitchen and books and bedroom,
a house full of lives and living,
and, not far ahead, the comforting sea.