Photo by Alex Galt/USFWS, 2015.
A slow walk along piled riprap that’s holding back the waters. Is it an embankment for an earthen dam, or the lip of an ancient monster’s water-jug, half- buried in an avalanche of oyster shells cast off after feasting, still sharp underfoot? Both could be true. I listen as the wind stuffs my ears with a dizzy racket: rattle of blown cattail spikes, gimlet-eyed grackles’ whistlings. Then a gift at my feet, perfect, unmoving— a sulphur butterfly, legs folded, not long dead. I’m its only mourner, in the absence of a meadowlark.