Nighttime Caper Equals Morning Mystery


Someone strung diamonds on the spartina.
A task which indeed required hours and
thousands of workers. Certainly, they did it in the dark
so as the sun rose glints would fly from the edge of every blade.
Truly, this was a Herculean job. Not for the weak or the lazy.

Possibly the Marsh Hens did it with their long bills,
they are, most likely, good with a needle and thread.
But if they did not do it, perhaps the wren with her nimble
feet, which cling to each upright stalk, was the culprit.

Oh, I am sure it was the wren because she was there
as the sun rose over the horizon. However, there
is also the probability that there are fairy folk living
with us, building houses in the alluvial muck of the estuary.
But no one sees them, so, perhaps it was the Mallards who
masterminded it all. After all, I saw their webbed
footprints in trails across the lawn.

Yes, it must have been the Mallards. They are always bossy.
Quacking at everybody. Stopping traffic so they may waddle
across the road down to the lagoon. Yes, I’m sure the Mallards
directed it, but the question remains, whose agile work left
acres of precious gems there only for my delight?
Who are the mignons of this night-time alliance that
results in my early morning joy?


Folly Beach. Marsh, Birds and Morris Island Light by Wm. Smithem

Today I have watched
every cycle of the tide.
four divided by two
high and low
alternately covering
and uncovering.

With each one
I expected
to find some evidence of you
floating toward me,
or evidence of you
steadily in retreat
and I only found
the rhythm of the ritual
flood and fall.
like a woman’s body,
the marsh fills and empties.

I think I expected this water
to bring you to me like
Jesus walking;
a miracle resolving all
doubts, simply believed.

Then I imagined
that I would flow
outward and find you
connected as we are
by the water, the wind,
and the grasses
undulating in unison.

But all I saw
were the birds,
who took flight
and carried me
into the horizon.