Vertigo / Picking up glass on Monhegan Island

The back of Monhegan rises
Over a hundred feet above the sea

Like a bit of wild Ireland
I am partway down

A series of climbable ledges
Picking up shards of glass

Green and amber and clear splinters
Of what’s left of beer bottles

That were lobbed from the top of the cliff
After the beer was finished

From the top of the cliff
The whole Atlantic Ocean

Spreads out to infinity
With the United States behind me

I can picture each bottle
Arcing and free-falling

And exploding out of sight on the rocks
And when I am sitting on that cliff

I am in a place that is its own place
I am free

To let myself be lulled by the waves
That break on the rocks like glass

And are pulled back by the sea
To become waves again
photo credit: newenglandrocks at