Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Silver Bay

by Carl Blumenthal
Brooklyn Meeting


for Joan Malin



in our wooden rocking chairs,

we face the opposite shore

where hills of white pine and red oak rise

like high-backed benches.

Herring gulls careen,

ministers of wind and water.

Clouds flee as if sinners on the lam.

And the lake is as calm as

babies sleeping and drooling.



in the sunburnt ball field behind us,

Canadian geese face off against the hometown gulls

like Hicksites invading the Orthodox stronghold

in old-time Philadelphia.

And we,

now united,

await the second coming—

of the young Friend who returns

those back-breaking chairs to storage.