“O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada,”
Sings the white-throated sparrow
From Manhattan’s southern tip.
All the bluster has gone out of the City’s roar.
Even a bird can out-sing it.
I board the empty Rockaway ferry.
A gannet, our local albatross, glides alongside.
With its neck crooked it scans the New York Bight,
Translucent blue-green now,
Clear and clean as the Dutch saw it.
West of the Rockaway dock
A bandit with bandana over mouth and nose
Sells me flounder bait through a tackle shop window.
Doors to stores are locked up tight.
Windows are all that’s left.
But at least I’ve got my bait.
Overfished and all but gone these thirty years.
Will they come back, too?
April and May
Now and probably forever in our memories,
Dark and deathly months.
The only two months the law lets you keep a flounder.
I would like to catch a couple.
Two is all you’re allowed to kill.
And if I catch them
I will eat them.