Reunion Number Seven - Poem by Bill Galvin
Gulfport, MS,10: 30 AM CST, March 20,2015
I drive Hwy 90, Beach Blvd, Biloxi west to Gulfport,
Recalling the places we saw and stopped to enjoy.
We came here twice after Hurricane Katrina,
The second time about 6 years ago.
I’ll tell you since then it’s built back very little.
There are still scores of empty shorefront lots;
Mansions over 100 years old were washed away
And generations of family histories changed abruptly.
Like fossil remains, staircases go to nowhere,
And brick or stone foundations lie naked in the sun.
Survivors were the largest Southern Live Oaks
And strongest Cabbage Palms.
Last night I remembered our stay at a casino hotel
While having dinner there.
You loved the outside pool cabanas
And the tropical drinks served to us.
(BTW, I do not like eating alone without you.)
And, I guess as you are an “Angel” on my shoulder,
Your influence doesn’t extend to casino magic,
Since I lost there; but that’s not new;
We lost there together, too. (Ha ha)
The Gulf waters are typically calm here,
With rippling waves only, making barely audible
Slaps and claps as they fold on the shore unhurriedly.
The beaches are pretty much empty,
Save for stands of laughing gulls hoping for a handout.
I locate the long walking pier
Where we watched pelicans at play one day.
You liked the warm winter climes
And long endless beaches here.
You dabbled barefoot in the shallow waters often.
I take some of your beautiful locks
Moistened with my daily tears
And place them in the sand at water’s edge
To await the next high tide, Water Spirit.
Crouched on one knee facing the vast Gulf of Mexico
I draw a cross with my finger in the wet sand.
I read for you what a man once said:
“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.”
Hold the door for me, Baby. See you soon.
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