SEPTEMBER: LEAVING THE BEACH
This morning after the night storm, the beach house
settles microscopically into the second line of patient dunes.
Hoof prints disappear among the alder brush; promises bend
on the wind. Just the two of us here,
waiting for low tide: ancient tree stumps, dead sea
turtle striped in orange, minnows in tidal pools, fishermen
nosed to the sea, sand hot and slippery under
our four wheel drive. Two days ago at twilight,
fire tore apart in tethered rage the empty cottage
downwind of us, its vinyl siding melting like cheese.
Way, way down the beach, sirens tendered their duty
of lament, came upon us to bury their axles
deep into the sand, threw their useless hoses forward:
ganglia, forlorn hope. We stood on dunes and balconies.
In the closing dark, one lone figure, helmeted, yellow
slickered, twin tanks on her back, let fall upon
a pillar tumbled from the porch one small stream.
Behind her, her Ford Explorer perched on a dune
like a monument. She had kids waiting at home
for dinner. At noon, we will drive the beach
to Corolla, cross the Bay into the unnerved world.