Provincetown in Summer

The chairs is what we call this place across the road
where the dirt & gravel parking lot of Angel Foods Market
meets the water. Cradled in the curved palm

of Cape Cod Bay, warmed by eastern sun, I watch
water slap against the stacked cement levee.
Song sparrows, chickadees, Herring gulls, robins.

Piping plovers so endangered the beach stays closed
when they’re nesting. Starlight Dogwood,
its yellow-green flowers & striated, heart-shaped

leaves. Hot-pink point-tipped tulips, daffodils,
Dusty Millers. Out in the middle of the Great Marsh,
osprey platforms perch four-hundred feet high.

One day my friends & I covered ourselves
from head to toe and hiked the mosquito-riddled
Beech Forest Trail, through pitch pine and black oak,

juniper & red maple. At night, I can walk in town
until three if I want to, say hi to everyone passing
and never feel unsafe. Breeze off the bay, smell

of a fishing town. Just the Sagamore Bridge, ferries
& eight-seaters connect us to the mainland.
When I fly here from Boston, engine of that tiny plane

sputtering like a mini-bike, I look up and out instead of down;
and when we come around the bend and see Pilgrim’s
Monument just before landing, I swear my heart

flushes & fills, flushes & fills, with a love so familiar
& intimate & vague I cannot name it. I just know
I belong here, among the birds & dunes & grasses,

the sidewalk cafes & piano bars, among the drag
queens with their costume changes, riding bicycles
down Commercial Street.

© Barb Reynolds