Walking Directions to Dunton’s General Store—Sara Epstein

From our house on Beaver Pond, walk past the Murdaughs’ house.

On the dirt road, kick the stones and watch the dust swirl.

Cattails rise from the edge of the pond behind the four identical cottages.

Next pass the Silvas, and then the fourth house.Can’t remember who lives there this year, it changes every year.

At the highway, you have to wait to cross Route 3.

Cars whip by, reminding you the road has a destination to Bar Harbor.

Run across, past the sign leading to the Mount Desert Island Biological

Laboratory, past Dahlgren Hall where there are lectures,

Past the town hall where there are dances,

Past the church you never go to,

Past the motel cottages all identical:

Edgewater cottages, Bay Meadow cottages-

You stayed here your first summer in Maine:

Your brother Mark dove from one bed to the other,

Yelling “Duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh,

Duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh Batman, through the window!”

Stop at the raspberry bushes,

Gobble down the sweet-tart berries,

Cross a small street to the cove,

Center of Salisbury Cove,

Dinghies and rocky beach smell like low tide.

Touch the rough eel grass,

Careful not to cut fingers with the sharp edges.

Pick up a piece of brown seaglass,

Rub it with your fingers as you put it in the pocket of your shorts.

Cross back over the street again,

Climb the three steps and open the screen door to Dunton’s.

Spend 35 cents on a brown paper bag you fill with penny candy:

Licorice and fireballs and rootbeer barrels and Bazooka bubble gum.

Skippy Dunton, the store owner and postmaster,

Takes your money, tells you: “It’s going tuh get windy latuh.”

You start back home.

Dr. Sara Epstein is a clinical psychologist who lives in Winchester, MA. Her first book of poetry, Bar of Rest, will be published by Kelsay Books in 2023. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including Nixes Mate Review, Chest Journal, Plainsongs, and  Mockingheart Review. See more at saraepsteinwriter.com.