Morning Walk.JPG
A Letter from Maui
by Daniel McGinn

I woke up this morning with the birds.
The doves began cooing just before the sun came up over the volcano.
We slept with the sliding glass door open to allow in the tropical breeze.
The beach is right across the street. I warm the teakettle on a tiny stove
and make a cup of coffee, fresh ground dark roast in a drip cone
and listen as one bird after another joins the sunrise chorus.
I wish you could be here to hear it.

I make breakfast while trying not to wake Lori.
Sometimes I slice apple bananas, pineapple and mangos
and eat them from a cereal bowl with banana bread on the side.
Today I cut a papaya in half, scooped out the seeds
and drizzled it with lime juice.

There are papayas growing in arms reach of our front door.
I like it here, on the second floor, with the papayas and the birds.
A rooster just crowed, alerting me that chickens are awake
and pecking seeds in our parking lot.

It’s a quarter mile to my favorite stretch of beach.
I pass fruit stands by the side of the road and the fish taco truck
where we can get shrimp over rice with capers and garlic.
I always double-check the church parking lot
to see if the guy is setting up barbeque pits.
It only happens once or twice a week but when it does
we always buy a rotisserie chicken basted in hula-hula sauce.
Lori and I never finish a whole chicken and our dog isn’t here to help us
so for the first time in my life I started making chicken salad.
I didn’t know I liked chicken salad.

I leave Lori sleeping with the breeze blowing in the studio apartment.
Dressed in shorts, a light shirt and flip-flops, I head for the beach.
I walk in the sand, and then I walk in the water. I do this every day.
I walk until I forget I’m walking. I talk to myself until I stop talking
and I notice things.

The shadow of a crane as it flies overhead, morning clouds,
the breaking waves, broken coral washed ashore with sea glass,
a ghost crab scuttling back to its hole, myna birds and cardinals
landing in the trees, those beautiful trees…

PHOTO: “Morning walk, Maui” (photo by Daniel McGinn, January 2016).

McGinn Bio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel McGinn‘s poems about his wife, his dog, the ocean and the moon have appeared numerous anthologies and publications. Daniel has an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He and his wife, poet Lori McGinn, are natives of Whittier, California. He is the author of 1000 Black Umbrellas (Write Bloody Publishing, 2011).

Author photo by Lori McGinn.