On First Reading the Geologist’s Report On the Condition of the Bluff

The ice age made this.
Though something was here before.

The ice advanced slowly
rolling over sea and land
pushing up before it
a curving sweep of shore

Like dust in front of a broom,
this state-sized pile of rubble
Like the lip of dust you can never quite
sweep from the floor.

And the ice age passed
And the now age is here
And you’ve washed up in the middle of it
Not for an age
for a moment

You come every year
of your advancing age
and stand on the lip of dust

watching the waves
one
another
a third
on the shore
one
another
a third
four

And wash away.
The age of that wave
over,
the age of the next
breaking o’er.

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