But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar . . .
I’d wait each day for tide to turn as it released the locks imprisoning the oyster-boats moored at the creek’s old docks,
and watch the sand bars disappear when morning’s current ran, so knob-kneed piles beneath the pier across our cove began
to wade in deeper water as noon’s hour drifted by and herring gulls upon their posts abandoned them to fly.
From oysters in the creek’s mud-flats jets arced in August’s sun and sawgrass hushed its whispering, gradually overrun
by inundation of the cove like milk poured in a glass, a quiet fullness everywhere until high tide had passed.
The tide still faithfully returns, its own lunatic round predictable as day and night; and if that creek is drowned
today by swelling seas, its shore eroded, marsh effaced and oysters just a memory of watermen displaced
by new homesites, shellfish disease, or toxins from upstream, it is ourselves and not our faith receding like a dream.