Written in the midst of the Covid-19 stay-at-home order, April 2020.
This place a kind of ghost town
like the emptiness of your heart
from the isolation
and absence of embrace
chairs stacked away
and the pastry cases bare
We walked these streets when you were little
and twice while he was alive
You rode the carousel but I
never saw him ride
I like the quiet
this solace to
So I have a space to linger
where there was
But you are always better
My eyes wanted to see it. Needed to see it.
The safer-at-home order has its ups and downs. However because I long to spend more time in my home and away from noise and crowds, it has not been a real stretch for me. That said, being confined to a space for many weeks, no matter how comfy, lends itself to the brain desiring a slightly altering experience, even if just a few miles from home. And exercising cautiously outdoors is good for the soul.
The sponge docks are a little mini-European getaway. Founded by John Cocoris and his hired Greek sponge divers and their families in the late 1880’s, this little corner of west Florida is the sponge capital of the world. Sponges of all kinds, plucked from the gulf waters, specialty shops, Greek restaurants, and a rescue aquarium are some of what the five senses experience. I spent countless, beautiful moments with friends and family here over the past two decades. It remains one of my favorite local places, as well as in the world.
I made my trek by bicycle on a morning I knew there’d be few people out. The spring air void of humidity and the blue skies with an occasional wispy, puff cloud an extra enticement for the journey. There were a few times during off-season when the docks were quiet and fairly empty. But I had to see them now, had to experience this usually bustling town breathing in its silence.
And I had to take a lot of photographs.
The only open bakery, which is usually teeming with people.
Besides me, this lady was the sole patron.
I trekked back home with two Tsoureki loaves. Buy one, get one free.