Beach erosion, southern reaches of Virginia Assateauge Island.
Beach erosion, southern reaches of Virginia Assateauge Island.

Desolate ocean strands, days of cold
Rain, merging clouds and waves, water
Falling from above, drops absorbed in
Sand, ripples lost to surf over washing
Dunes, slicing narrow isthmus. Amongst
Seagrass, winter gulls wind-huddle on
This remote barrier island cut in half.

There is no returning except for wading
Eroding streams, thrust of ocean at high
Tide reclaiming fragile shores, swept flat
And featureless, barren beyond eye sight.
Shivering and skin-soaked, waves permit
My trespassing, scorned by dark clouds
Passing overhead.

Next to crumbling dunes I sit, surf washing
Over my legs, windy seagrasses struggling
To survive. Roots exposed by nature’s hand,
Another wave, another storm, more wind-
Waving clumps washed to sea, for I feel
Ocean’s eternal tug as sandy streams and
Floating foam wash over me.

For moments, I am one with ocean and
Beach, an eroding fragile slope. Sunken in
Sand, I too would disappear, for sea does
Not know who or what I am, beachcomber
Allowed brief visits. Yet, I tell fragile island
Plights: in cold winter rain, ocean loves not
Sand dunes nor seagrass low wind-waving.

Thera recounts slow yet on-going destruction of southern
reaches of Virginia Assateague Island, eroding 
and often
cut in half by high tides and storm surges. 

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