History

I read the history of a nearby beach
Affectionately called “the Edge of America”
As it happens, in the 1700s, this sandy stretch of land
Was rather less affectionately called “Coffin Island”
Due to ships passing by from the harbor
To lay their cholera dead to rest
In shallow, sandy graves
And sail on

Strange
How easily graves become the foundations
Of something else
How coffins
Become towns

This is time’s gift
Softening grief’s jagged edges
Turning marrow and bone to dust
Calling our attention back
To the shimmering sunrise