It was cold
and windy, scarcely
to take a walk
on that long beach
was withdrawn as far as possible
indrawn: the tide far out, the ocean
in ones or twos.
The rackety, icy, offshore wind
numbed our faces
on one side;
disrupted the formation
of a lone flight of Canada
and blew back the low, inaudible rollers
in upright, steely mist
was darker than the water
- it was the color of mutton-fat jade.
Along the wet sand, in rubber boots, we followed
of big dog
they were more like lion-prints). Then we came on
lengths and lengths
, endless, of wet white string,
looping up to the tide-line
, down to the water
over and over. Finally, they did end:
a thick white snarl, man-size
rising on every wave, a sodden ghost
falling back, sodden, giving up the ghost...
A kite string? - But no kite.
Elizabeth Bishop, "The End of March," The Complete Poems: 1927-1979
, NY: FSG, 1984, page 179.