August 30, 2019
Photo by Clayton Nottleman

Herring Cove Beach: How It Was
A Poem by Corinne Diana

“Ranger, ranger,” floats along the sand
While bare-breasted women
Reach for shirts and halter tops,
Eyes on the mounted figure
High above the sandgrass-covered dunes. 
Someone suggests that everyone
Remove their tops
And shout to Madame Ranger
In a joint display of feminist retort. 
No one makes a move.

The ranger writes a ticket, 
A fifty-dollar fine, 
To a bather caught
With breasts exposed to sand. 
I imagine all of us
Marching into District Court
Exposing breasts
To Justice who is blind. 

All through the August afternoon
The warning is repeated
As the ranger rides the beach
Astride her speckled mare. 
Still, the women come and go, 
Lying in the sun, 
Taking off their clothes. 


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