Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
to see the total eclipse of the sun.
- “You’re So Vain,” Carly Simon
Will we ever know who Carly was singing about?
One man? Three? More than three?
It doesn’t really matter, does it.
What matters is the walk through the dunes
Back from the beach to Maurice’s campground
On that early evening in July 1972.
How the sun’s light, extinguished in Nova Scotia
But only partially shadowed here on the Cape,
Grew dimmer as false twilight descended.
How the dune birds stopped singing,
And how the hawk,
Reacting to the approaching darkness,
Swooped down in the fading light and
Taloned the skittering mouse
Who’d made a fatal mistake.
What matters is what happened earlier
In the sand with the ocean nearby
When love had its way
When we were briefly invisible,
Our ardor sheltered by the incessant
Sound of waves crashing on the shore.
We remember this in the silent half-light
As we walk back to the campground,
As the hawk, rising above the sandy path,
Its prey firmly grasped,
Flies into the eclipse.