Marc Swan lives in coastal Maine. Poems recently published in Gargoyle, Plainsongs, Paterson Literary Review, among others. His fifth collection, all it would take, was published in 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK), and today can take your breath away is available from Sheila-Na-Gig editions.
In a favorite coastal shop
we meet the partner of the owner—
a woman we like
and appreciate for her artistic taste.
He is subbing for a sales person
who has ongoing problems
with her life and daily routine.
Stoic at first, then
he opens up with his story—
living in the south became too hard
and he needed a change
to a calmer way of life
in the state
where he was born.
We talk of life and work
and family. His son is a lineman
and he is proud of what he does—
climbing those poles often no
buckets in remote locales,
the camaraderie, watching
each other’s backs 24/7
in the worst conditions—
hurricanes, tropical storms, fires
ravishing homes. And then
my wife asks if he watched
Breaking Bad. He talks of folks
who have asked him for selfies.
The resemblance is there:
glasses, shaved head, cropped
beard, and his manner—
smooth, cool and collected.
Even his first name is the same.