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Appledore, on the Island of Shoals.

In the back of her hotel Celia's good friend William Morris Hunt drowned in the reservoir, while failing to swim. Near the channel where he went down, there was a fifteen by fifty foot garden whose colorful leaves the maid helped to arrange in vases. Childe Hassam painted the hotel walls, the sea, and a never ending mural of holly hock, sweet Benjamin peas, nasturtiums, wild cucumber and honeysuckle. Wisteria fell from his brush, as well as lichens, grass and kelp seen awash in swell of tidal rock.

For years Appledore drew the best men and women of society ten miles into the ocean, like small beasts pulled through the grass for a feast at noon. Rapidly captured dilettantes, Hassam rendered them at peace as they strolled the sand dunes, ruined with happiness and lost.

Near the end of the century. Childe's studio burnt to the ground, along with Celia's perfect hotel. As impressionists, they dug shoals for a bride full of color, and captured the grace of darkness moving love hot into sun. The garden, the sea a patterned dress, on a canvasses, mobbed by light withdrawing into shade. Each gradient of color the petal of an epoch closing.
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Author:Grummer, Greg
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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