Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Useless Bay

Useless Bay
Photograph via Flickr Cindy Shebley

Whidbey Island, WA

Mudflats to shallow surf, a clench
of cold sea to bone ache, a shoreline

calmed by archipelago, a sound clear
of particulates, a trio of children make

silhouettes of their smallness as they,
in slipping in, slip deeper and farther

away. What’s so great about utility
anyway? A poem can’t open a can

for you. A film isn’t going to pick up
your dry cleaning. A Bach concerto won’t

build a better automobile. And some bays
are not made for the shuffling of goods.

Some bays are just meant for settling into,
beer in hand, your child up to his knees

in leaving, your body gathering sun in
its empty rooms like a shuttered factory

that used to make widgets
or other important things.