The Wind at South Core Bank
Through the noisy inhale of our yearly stay the cabin waits
to exhale again into its natural, empty state:
sand-swept floors, silvered salt-damp beadboard,
uncurtained windows left open for airing. Wind roars
like an endless rising tide around the corners, sifts sand
against window screens, and entering, stirs the idle fan
into a frenzied swirl. It turns down the children’s blankets
and flips wet towels from the line above their bunks.
Restless, it washes through louvered interior walls,
scatters napkins, a deck of cards, lifts the tablecloth and lets it fall,
then takes its never-ending leave and slams the door.
Our coolers and suitcases serve as makeshift anchors,
but we’ll soon be gone, like the snags of flotsam
caught against a branch of driftwood for a time
until they’re worried loose and tumbled northward
along this rootless land that shifts and turns, this shore
that stays the same by changing. Time, it goes so fast,
the grandfather says more than once, statement of fact
murmured as he pins down thought in pencil at the margins
of the page, then scoops up his granddaughter in a motion
that never fails to bring back his own small daughter’s
large delight, like something solid saved for years.
We tack down the week with snapshots, weighting down
memory as I weight down the pages on my windblown
table with battered whelks and conchs, but our living, breathing
selves surge onward like the wind, the dunes, the sweeping sea.
The breakers’ falling curls rush from right to left, making
time run backward as they suck sand from under the child’s naked
feet. He watches the flecked cosmos of broken shells
and exposed coquinas tumble seaward, feels himself sail
at dizzying speed against the water’s rush, as I sailed, a child standing
braced against the waves on shifting, escaping sand–
as we all sail, riding this changing, changeless week of time
like kites, rising on the tension between wind and steadying line.
Emily Tuszynska is a writer and a mother of three young children living in Fairfax, Virginia. Her poems can be seen in a number of digital and print literary magazines, including Literary Mama (forthcoming), Crab Orchard Review, Rhino, and Southern Poetry Review.