The beach hisses like fat . On his left, a sheet
of uninterrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.
- Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them,
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.
(excerpt from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “Sandpiper”)
Well, I suppose anyone could write “A sandpiper runs along the beach.”
Elizabeth Bishop’s acuity, the clarity of detail, the emotional depth, and her sense of setting are the gold standard to which I, as a writer, can only aspire. So I’ll keep trying, keep chasing the sandpiper along the beach in my own way, each time – I hope - better than the last.