Losing the Fogby Cynthia Bernard
The Pacific inhales overnight,
then, shortly before dawn, begins
crooning her love to the hills nearby.
Her fog-song caresses the beach,
sashays up the hillside,
tucking in between houses,
weaving through bushes, around trees,
seeping down to greet the gophers,
gliding up to tango with the crows.
It’s a relationship renewed each morning,
fertile and productive—
nurturing coastal redwoods, who would not survive
without the moisture they sip from each morning’s mist,
and salmon, who swim streams
kept alive by fog-drip.
She’s begun to develop shortness of breath,
fog barely making it beyond the bottom of the hill—
and there’s no inhaler we can offer her,
no chemotherapy that will cool things down,
no radiation that will stop the spread.
We can’t advise her to quit smoking, either;
we’re the ones who feed the flames.
Less fog… even less fog…
The hillside weeps dried leaves, dead branches,
as his beloved’s song fades away.
* * * * *
"Losing the Fog" was previously published in Heimat Review, January 2023.
Cynthia Bernard is a woman in her late sixties who is finding her voice as a poet after many decades of silence. A long-time classroom teacher and a spiritual mentor, she lives and writes on a hill overlooking the ocean, about 20 miles south of San Francisco.