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cover art Poems from the Other Land by Ruth Mark
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P o r t r u s h   i n   t h e   ' 7 0 s

A row of colonial bed and breakfast
establishments with their New England
porches buttressed against the
Atlantic storm. Musty inside with
guests that looked like they belonged
to another era. Salt air bleaching
the curtains, great velvet swaths
muffling shouts from the tennis courts
opposite. Just behind these state-of-the-art
courts lay a backdrop of jagged cliffs
their menace just softened with a
grassy beard. We’d get soft, frothy
ice-cream, 99s with flakes, and
take them up the path, holding
them tight, trying to defy the
gale force wind that blew off the
deep green churning sea. Up
past the Blue Pool where Dad
dove with all the other
foolhardy teenagers in the late
‘50s, on past the lighthouse
painted white, remote despite
the people jostling for the view
just behind its round smoothness. The
taste of the air stays with me, more
than memory. Childhood days
spent at Portrush distilled.

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