Our guides ease the boat through narrow 
channels until we get to open water, 
point out observation towers 
in the distance. Closer by, 
stretches of marsh-meadow 
where hermit crabs flip houses 
all day. Flocks of dark-headed 
laughing gulls with lightly rouged bills— 
their numbers now severely diminished. 
An eagle perches on a post then takes 
to the sky. We learn about the wrecked 
sailing vessel carrying hogs in pens; 
how surviving animals swam to shore,
giving the island this name. I prefer
Machipongo, Algonquin name which means 
fine dust and flies, or the sands that constantly 
shift; and clouds of mosquitoes rising 
from the reeds. Never stopping, 
undulant histories overlap in piles
of fog as fronds of eel grass work
to quietly leach carbon from the water, 
weave shelter for a world of creatures. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.