At the Monhegan Island General Store

August 18, 2016

I’m happy to be off the trail, out of the wind and salt spray, safe from the fog’s cold claw...

 

I’m happy to be off the trail, out of the wind

and salt spray, safe from the fog’s cold claw,

hungry for buttered scones, chocolate,

and the buzz of hot black coffee.

I want to be at ease in the clamor of men

gathered at the corner table, talking taxes

and touchdowns, chainsaws and lobsters.

But I sit alone in a booth, my anxiety

rising as I read recipes in yesterday’s paper,

reminding myself I can be at peace

when I’m with my patients or at home

with women working in the kitchen,

their talk of children and the cosmos

blooming in the garden. I might chop garlic,

clean up the pots and pans, or sharpen

a knife to slice fresh loaves of crusty bread,

clearing the rough trail of brown crumbs

with one smooth sweep of my hand.

Disclosures:

Dr. Berlin is Senior Affiliate in Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. E-mail: Richard.Berlin@gmail.com. His most recent collection of poetry, PRACTICE, is published by Brick Road Poetry Press.