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Sep 2016
There were four of them dressed in loud yellow t-shirts
and muffled white-washed jeans. Three carried rubber
ended stick-picks and sand crusted sky-blue buckets  
for hypodermic needles and diapers and condoms.

The last of them, an older stocky gentleman with thick
red skin and no more than ten years left to live maneuvered
a grass-green, six-cylindered, diesel-powered tractor with
an old metallic rake attached to its bed across cold soft sand.

These four men are the edge-of-morning-heroes,
– they have to be the edge-of morning-heroes,
these four men, the beach combers.

My friends, have we appreciated the fruit of their labor?
the outcome of their edge-of-morning-efforts?

It was because of them that I was there, because of them
that the great lake was enjoyable, swimmable, because of them
that my heart had become a poem whose first stanza opened
with a young man staring off into the open, ocean-blue horizon,

water birds skipping, circling open-winged with webbed
feet behind him, his brown legs nestled firmly in the swash,
where to the left of him, a couple, neck-deep, was making love
between the familiar crest and trough of a wave, making love

between the familiar beginning and end of something
– going deeper, under still as a plane hummed overhead.

My friends, will the future appreciate the fruit of their labor?
the outcome of their edge-of-morning-efforts?
Jason Harris
Written by
Jason Harris
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