“Isle of Palms” Revision- let me know what you think!

Dec. 30, 2006: Sullivan’s Island SC

It was his first trip:
his first deep sniff
of the sea restricted
by half-rolled windows
smudged with nose-
shaped wet. He leaned
far into the dark,
ready to run
eight long backseat
hours later.

I let loose the frayed
leash and with a jingle
he darted toward
the wide white beach
his first view
of the infinite sea
and sky side
by side.

His black form blurred
fast in the distance, but
the light from the full
moon bounced
from his back
and the calm
high tide. I could see
the mounds of shimmering
sea foam erupt as he ran
straight through.

I squinted into the dark,
trusting he’d stop,
knowing I could never catch him.

1 Response to ““Isle of Palms” Revision- let me know what you think!”

  1. 1 jennyfey Apr 18th, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    i think this is a great revision. the ending is a lot more clear, and its brevity is powerful. i like that the focus is entirely on the dog until the very last lines.

    i can’t remember if you changed the first line this time, but i was struck a little bit by it because it made me think of a drug trip, especially as it’s followed by “first deep sniff,” which is obviously not the type of ambiguity you’re going for. “leaning into the dark,” also plays with that idea. obviously, the half-rolled windows, nose smudges, and “eight long backseat hours” clarify – but just for a few seconds, i considered the drug theory, especially since i hadn’t read this one in awhile.

    also, even though i LOVE “eight long backseat hours,” the words around it are kind of awkward. how about “ready to run AFTER eight long backseat hours” instead of “ready to run eight backseat hours later.” i think the “later” is to far away from the “ready to run.”

    that’s all – awesome poem, one of my faves.

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