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The Map Is Cozy

2 Poems
By John Grey


To think, within sight of Boston to the south,
we have a beach all to ourselves.

With a city barely a truck’s rattle away,
we’re secluded in this long strip of shoreline.

Forest behind, the Atlantic at our toe-tips,
we leave footprints in the sand,

observe a random race of sandpipers,
follow the insane crisscross walk of a crab,

misidentify a shell, grapple with seaweed,
and wallow in the remnants of sunrise.

So many people converge on Beantown,
but they neglect to come here for which we are grateful.

They have all that business to attend to.
Sure, there’s business here but it’s voluntary.

No one says, check how cold the water is, but I do.
I hear no orders to examine that tidepool

but I bend down on my knees, watch all
this activity that’s just a finger ripple away.

It’s like a mini version of what’s going on in Boston.
Once again, I am close but apart.


I cross the border from Rhode Island
into the northeast of Connecticut
and, from there, into Massachusetts.

We’re in and out of three states
and it’s still the same song
on the radio.

The country’s small in this part of the world
and the map is cozy.

John Grey is an Australian poet, U.S. resident. He has been published in New Plains ReviewPerceptionsSanskritSouth Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature, among others.

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