Visors shading their foreheads,
sunglasses shading their eyes,
in well-pressed clothes,
they step from carts stopped
here and there on the greens.
Their legs look strong,
but some walk with shoulders
bowed to the ghost weight
of children, grown now, and bosses,
and parents who paled and died.
I stand here watching,
the same way I stood on the bridge
at Green Cay this morning where,
far off, egrets stalked the shallows.
I’ve flown south to visit my mother,
who’s 86 and rents for the season.
She loves to remind me I’m old
enough for a place here, too.
Merrill Oliver Douglas studied in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College, and she earned an MA in English from Binghamton University in 1982. Her most recent publications are in A Narrow Fellow, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Barrow Street and San Pedro River Review. She lives near Binghamton, N.Y., where she runs a freelance writing business.