Three Walks Together
Timothy Thomas McNeely
I. Point Roberts, WA
Boats beached, bows dipped at angles to the sandbars,
broad backs upbent and breaching from the northwest tip
of the bay. In calm, warm water, we wade out.
We watch for fish and catch a hundred tiny crabs
gray-red, red-gray. Their claws probe our palms
till we drop them in the cups and the buckets
we brought. The tally of our treasures increases
with the slow rise of tide, our pockets weighed down
by sand-smoothed rocks, colored clouds and chalcedony:
a signal, a sea-change, the slow close of summer.
II. West Vancouver, BC
After the movie, touring the residential streets in late
September sunlight, you talk the most I’ve ever heard you
splaying secrets like clothes on the bed, showing yourself
more than when you’re lying on our shifted sheets,
duvet tossed down to your feet, spent from sex and smiling.
Though the smile also speaks. Differences between us
are plain as plum and pine, magnolia/madrona. We walk
beside low walls of brick and stone, gray-red, red-gray, and talk
as the light turns clouds colors in the sky. The future lengthens
with our shadows. I wonder what can not be loved.
III. Boulder, CO
We set aside two early morning hours together,
wake before our children wake and weave our way to breakfast,
then out to Doudy Draw, South Mesa Trail and Towhee.
The Flatirons rise red in the raw light. Tall grass
sighs beside us. As we talk, the soft crunch of crushed gravel
walks with us, mirroring our steps. Scrub pine waves in the periphery.
Tired from weeks of visiting, we breathe. We wear down worry
with work; tell small stories; smooth gray, cloudless agates, carried there
from other states. Back now, deep breaths. Down we go, to welcome
even the bare reminders of all we need, and all unearned we have.
About the Author: Timothy Thomas McNeely is a writer, civil servant and former logger. He holds degrees in English and philosophy from Trinity Western University, the University of Essex and the University of St Andrews. He earned a Masters of Letters at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and workshopped poems at Hugo House in Seattle. He works in federal education program management and is a husband and father of four. His poems recently appeared in the inaugural edition of Cascadia Rising Review. He lives in Tacoma, Washington.