The Last Beach House

It sits hollow near the sand
washed up the road where the
other houses look like waddling waders, maybe
clamming, maybe just enjoying the wet.
Old Bill built his bungalow back
in the teens when high tide was still a half-mile out.
Didn’t want the waves to keep
him awake at night, he said.
But still, he walked to the water
every day. He was pushing eighty
when the realization hit him
like a sack of wet mice.
It wasn’t so far to walk now.
Those Antarctic ice sheets must
really be filling up the big tub.
When he clutched his chest
and went to his knees going
out the front door that fine July
morning, his last thought as he
rolled to his back on the
porch where he loved to listen:
At least I didn’t drown.

water house

Sandy-flood-NJ

(water house: worth1000.com; Sandy damage: insurancejournal.com)

 

 

 

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About Jim Stewart

Writer at Butt in Chair
This entry was posted in end-of-life, Poem, Science, walking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Last Beach House

  1. Nice texture.touching to ol salts
    Remaining where they were meant
    To ebb n floe as Sea rises without notice
    By the regulators never salted in the misty
    Thank full for smooth passage without the knowing……….eh Heminway

    • narble says:

      It’s kind of an odd poem. We’re building a beach house next year about a half-mile from the salt. I watched an interview with a cheerful scientist talking about the Antarctic ice sheets being “past the point of no return.” As usual, it got me to thinking…

      • narble says:

        Gearhart. A tad north of Seaside.

      • See Sea level rise
        Is like see spot run
        Where u building seaside digs…Cal or Seaside?

      • Stew one of my best freinds from law school who wrote environmental Vt legislation by day n musical come diets at night
        Has committed himself n other global brainaiacs from Harvard to DC..careful of not just ebb n flow but quick rise of sea w accelerated warming….like ur thoughts in this piece as death is nye

  2. Love old beach houses. Love the beach. Love your poem.

    • narble says:

      My wife and I are beach kids. This will be going home, but without the cliche.

      • narble says:

        …and thanks for the follow. Some days are diamonds, some days are stone. But if it’s not going real well I take Bill Stafford’s advice and lower my expectations.

  3. I saw my condo sinking into the Atlantic when I read this.

  4. narble says:

    Actually, the Atlantic would be climbing the walls. The conservative estimate over the next 60 years is three feet. But that is quite significant if you apply Calculus to a three-dimensional coastline. Beach folk don’t have to be crazy, but it helps.

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