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The Two of Them

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Trouble in Cedar Key, Oct. 13, 2011

By Gene Benedict

It was early morning a couple or so days back. It was cool, crisp and dry. The sun had not yet shown.

Dawn was near. A bright planet was in the western sky setting ever so slowly, Jupiter I believe. The sky was clear of clouds, the stars remaining were dimming.

Somewhere near, a heron squawked three times decreasing in volume. The water was calm. Some terns had awakened and were working the water in the calmer places.

Then I saw the two of them. They were slowly working their way to the dock. He was in front carrying poles and a pail. She was close behind leaning on a cart with one hand, walker and cane in the other.

Dawn was upon us. A few pelicans had joined the terns diving for breakfast near the surface. More pelicans were on the way.

The two of them had nearly reached the dock. His lead had lengthened. She was maintaining a slow, steady pace. They were dressed for the weather, long pants, oversized jackets and ballcaps.

Now the sky was blue, deeper to the west, light blue-green to the east. Along the eastern horizon was a glow of color ranging to amber.

The two of them were at the dock. He had reached the long stretch of the causeway, smaller finger docks to the sides. She was on the ramp that zig-zags to the dock working her way up with great effort.

The planet in the western sky could still be seen though it was fading rapidly. The sky to the east, to the southeast, was now on fire.

Pelicans and terns had been joined by gulls on their hunt. The ibis had awakened on the far keys and were forming into loose V’s as they began a trek onto the mainland creeks, streams and elsewhere in a quest for food for the young.

The two of them were both on the dock now. The dock was empty save for them. He was at the other end setting up a place for both of them.

The sun was now peeking her nose and the top of her head over the horizon. The amber, orange, tan, pink glow had gone up and overhead, spreading toward the western sky, serene in its journey.

Over the water were skimmers in the air flying in unison. Now and then, some dipped to the surface, lower bills skimming for breakfast snacks.

The two of them are together again. He had gone back to where she was walking to relieve her burden of the fishing gear. He headed back to the place he had picked.

The sun was now above the horizon. The day was upon us. Time for a good look around. Time for a deep sigh and a cup of coffee.

The two of them were together at the end of the dock. He had returned once more to help her.

Now it was time for them, for the two of them to sigh, look around and get on with fishing for food, fishing for fun.

It was their time, time for the two of them...together.

Gene Benedict can be contacted at tnckgebe@yahoo.com