My latest walk yet, I think. Up for a few hours in the middle of the night, so I slept late. Wrote, working on my post card poems. They are still a mysterious project I’m trying to make sense of. Woke feeling confident, though, a sense of progress, despite the questions I cannot yet answer. So many people visiting the area – spring break. They crowd to the part of the Gulf beach called Beer Can Island. They like to play here with the dry, broken trees and build things. Forts. Tipi’s. This morning there are so many improvised structures where people can experience enchantment. Put their towels down in an open air tent. Pretend they’re stranded on a remote island in a tropical sea. Just beyond Longboat Pass Bridge I saw the bright umbrella’d party boat, anchored just off the shore, sunlit and still as a mirage. It reminded me of the wonderful P.D. Eastman book, Go Dog, Go, with the illustrations of a party blow out of the dogs in the tree having a party. Quite a contrast to my early mornings with the shell pickers at sunrise. Every walk now seems numbered, this final week, counting down. I feel like I’ve been here two years, not two months, and New England seems like an abstraction. I cannot conjure a sense of myself in the woods by the river in early spring in the mud. But, I can feel Charlie’s sleek chocolate coat under the palm of my hand. I can sense the bump against my thigh of Suzi’s rump when she’s asking to be fed. I can imagine the joy of my dogs, our reunion. The race across the field toward the river. Soon. Still, there is the gulf beside me. At the end of my walk I dive in and cool off, taste the salt on my tongue and crawl.