The Fog People
by Colin W. Sargent


by Colin W. Sargent

One year the fog stayed all summer

as if it were a lodger

picking his teeth after dinner,

refusing to retire

to his room upstairs.

Three weeks into June our tenants

started to complain.

When will it end? Mrs. Beaulieu asked,

scrunching up her face

to my father’s wavery

Comment allez vous?

Mowing the lawn,

I couldn’t see the beach

nor even the street,

perfume of sea roses

wafting across

the Kennebunk River,

just a bright suggestive mass

where St. Ann’s Church

should have been,

and the fog was the world,

world without end.

All through July

the blue dungeon held us fast,

at times icy and clammy,

our senses separating

nice from niece,

Hawaiian Tropic unsticking itself eerily

from the bodies of girls.

“Are you sure this is summer?”

Mrs. Beaulieu asked.

“Is that you, Mrs. Beaulieu?”

my father replied, in French.

“Is your son mowing the lawn?”

“Was it inconsiderate of him

to have cut off

your daughter’s (tanning) foot?”

Her whole body was cammy tan.

You’d think of speaking to her,

but what could you say?

When the Beaulieus returned

to Montreal,

their license plate vanished

before their car turned out of the driveway.