May, 2015

              The estuary is in constant motion
                                         an ever shifting landscape 
   converging currents ripple 
             mercury shimmer 
                           scribbles of foam 
                                                     undulate along leading edges.

A black water river the Cape Fear 
                                        clear yet stained dark with tannins 
                slips through forested swamps.
			                                  Channels converge 
              outside my hotel window,  mix with salt 
		                         surging up the intracoastal waterway. 
The plan was to locate and study documents
              plat maps, wills diaries, slave rolls 
                                                       but the river catches me 
                                                                                                  won’t let me go. 

A very early subtropical storm hangs offshore. 
              Ana small in stature 
                            yet fierce enough to be named.
                                                        Acres of marsh grass billow and sway 
                brilliant green in a rain splattered landscape.
                                          A NOAA ship scribes lazy circles in the river.
Two days I watch 
                           and then all at once I have to go to the ocean.

              I’ve never chased storms before 
                                                        but something deep in my chest 
                            pulls me
                                          down the string of barrier beaches 
                                                                                                  to Bald Head Island.

	      	              Laughing gulls and grackles jam with the gale
a gawky surfer paces barefoot along the breakwater
                                                                     sand streams across my ankles
                                                                                                 mountains of clouds climb the sky.