The National Poetry Review

Colin Bailes


A little sunlight through the mist—a little mist-light.
Gathering of sandpipers lifting from the sea oats

when I approach from the dunes. They rise in unison—
swiftly—and appear as a sheet tossed flat upon a bed,

caught in the undercurrent of a ceiling-fan. Except,
unlike the sheet, they don’t come down;

they never settle. They drift toward the sea’s rough waves
and disappear beyond the sandbar.

The same dream every night, the same sandpipers;
tuft of brown in the wing, tuft of brown on the crown.

I sense the sand under my feet, the divots my heels make.
Always daybreak, the sun slowly drags itself up

from beneath the surface of the sea, spreads its golden fingers.
A little sunlight through the mist—

a little mist-light. The sandpipers lifting from the sea oats,
the earth beneath them, falling away.

COLIN BAILES lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he studies in the MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Sugar House Review, Whiskey Island, and elsewhere.

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