Days in Chincoteague
I slam the car door behind me,
Donning my sunglasses
As the Virginia sun warms my face.
I inhale, sucking in the tangy smell
Of saltwater and marshlands.
One of my favorite places in the world.
I walk in the surf,
The waves teasing me
As they splash my feet and then retreat.
I sigh with pleasure
As the sand works its way between my toes,
Rough and gentle, exfoliating.
I tentatively walk farther into the water,
Stepping gingerly to avoid the broken shells
And horseshoe crab corpses
That made snacks for seagulls.
I fill my cheeks with air and think, what the heck.
I plunge into the water.
The world above me was deafening. Chaotic.
Roaring wind, squawking seagulls, screaming kids.
Now the world is silent. Still.
Time is suspended.
I return to the surface,
And the world jolts back into motion,
Assaulting me with various sensory details.
The waves are tinged with pink,
Reflecting the huge strawberry
Sinking on the horizon.
I go through the motions—drying off,
Packing up my stuff, driving back
To the rental house.
I don’t register any of it.
I lean back in my seat,
Falling asleep smiling.
My eyes snap open.
I sit bolt upright in bed, nervous.
I catch my breath—just my alarm.
My heart sinks as I gather my thoughts.
I’m not at my favorite place in the world.
It’s a bone-chilling winter morning
In western Pennsylvania.
It’s Monday, it’s sleeting sideways,
And I have three huge projects
It was just a dream.
A hell of a dream.
I put my alarm on snooze,
Wrap myself in my cocoon,
And let the sandman
Take me back to Dream Land.