Down Harbor Way

Ann Marie Sekeres, “Andy in Lisbon”

By Tobi Alfier

Down Harbor Way

The water’s always a version
of blue to black, quiet or boisterous, music

orchestrating the whole affair. Anchored
on one end by the Rose and Thorn Pub,

the other holds the ferry dock, taxi stand,
Joan’s groceries, and parking.

In-between, wide terraced steps, polished rock
and limestone brick welcome the residents

of butter-yellow houses from one end
to the other. White-framed windows

share the view of park and sea. Children
with nannies and grandparents hopscotch

from lunches of soup and bread, the odd whisky,
to groceries for dinners around large tables,

the picnickers having gone home to their own dinners.
Summers, finches sing in the trees. Winterbare branches

shadow inside walls like the open palms of beggars.
A blessed neighborhood, where families change

with the nature of all living, but never leave.
The circuit of steps bears their measure,

from first frost, to spring, to the darkened death
of winter, mute in the last of the breaking light.