By Pris Campbell
The Chesapeake opens beneath us,
a woman spreading her skirt wide
to greet the Atlantic, already throbbing
with September winds at her feet.
I learn to lay down a trot line,
haul hungry crabs to the surface, tossing
the lucky red-bellied females back.
I learn that fish gasp in upper Bay
pollution, that sea grass cries,
that watermen chug out at dawn past
clanging buoys and clearing mist
hoping to net their catch for the day.
I learn that heaven is right here
in these blue waters, the upside-down sky,
that the spirits of old sailors walk
on our bow at night, telling lost stories
about Tangier Isle, Shanks, Queens Ridge,
Piney Island. I learn how love
of the sea can rush right through you
with the wind, until your heart is translucent
with joy as intense as pain.
I hate everything and everyone. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration, but the next several weeks are going to suck beyond my ability to describe. We have conflicting professional opinions on whether we only need to wash and bag everything made of fabric in the house for heat treatment of the four bedbugs thus far seen, or whether we actually have to remove every item on every shelf in the entire house to be put in bags for chemical treatment -- we have 18 bookcases just in the basement, at least 35 overall, so basically this would require that we rent a storage unit just to store all our things for several weeks. They also won't guarantee it because of the odds the bugs came in from an attached townhouse.
We are seriously thinking that since we basically have to move out anyway, cats and all, instead of spending the money we'd earmarked to repair the roof and living room floor, we may just do the absolute minimum to debug and sell the house, stay in a rental for a couple of years in a cheaper part of the county, and figure out where we actually want to live. In the meantime I need to do the unthinkable and throw out a lot of books, because I don't have the time and money to clean all the cheap paperbacks. Ugh. We watched this week's Elementary (not a sufficient distraction) and The Handmaid's Tale (okay, those women have it a lot worse than I do) while I was nostalgic for the Chesapeake: