Dog Bar Breakwater
It’s quite a simple structure, given its task:
blocks of granite, each one thirteen tons, piled neatly
and securely on and next to the other.
So far it has survived more than one hundred
years of tides, winds, waves, heat of summer and the
numbing cold of winter.
Like a mother’s guarding arm, it protects our boats
from the dangerous surf, deflects the fury
of the sometimes angry sea; provides a measure
of calm to our harbor and is home to the beacon
and signal that guide us safely to our berths.
On fine days, it is a place of walks, picnics,
picture taking, artists painting, people fishing,
quiet talks and, each September, we watch schooners
head out for their annual race into the past.
On stormy days, if one dares go out to see,
we witness giant sea upon sea doing their best
to crest over the topmost blocks as if to challenge
the very notion that we, by force of will,
can make any harbor safe.
It is a noble effort that makes me wonder:
we have built the Dog Bar breakwater, but
can we, on our stormy days, prevent ourselves
from dashing recklessly upon hidden bars
by careful placement of blocks of wisdom,
and, on the good days, walk along the tops amid
waves of joy and gratitude?