Friday, January 16, 2009

Coryell Island

I wrote this last spring, it is most definitely unfinished.

There are two ways for islands to be swallowed:
by water and by land.
My Island is being engulfed by the latter.
But engulf—like swallowing—seems indicative of moisture.

We never had a sand dune before the water started sinking.
(Is this how water sinks, into the solid?)

We made a joke that old Horween needed to park his yacht
that he sailed in from Chicago,
and he took his sand and put it onto our property
(He took our water.)

Old Horween is dead.
The old Walkers too, have abandoned
their Island cabin for one on the shore.
There is a picture
of my father and young John Walker
standing shirtless with long hair
in front of the old Hotel as they were dismantling it.
We still have the postcards
of people standing barefoot on the docks that now are half on shore
with fish hanging on strings.

The old post office is still there,
spider webs line the walls
and giant ant hills covered the path around the outside.
When I walk by, the ants crawl in my sandals
and bite my feet. At night, in bed,
I stare at the spiders that cling to the walls.
The only ones I can identify are the daddy-longlegs
with their long spindly limbs and red ball of a center.
When I think about them, I can feel them
crawling up my arms and down my legs.
I worry they will go inside my mouth.

The tennis court is still there as well;
water damaged and covered with slugs
and sunbathing snakes.
There is a lock on it now.
There are stories of the younger generation
having tennis court battles every summer.
The five Coryell boys—
Bruce, Jim, Scott, Jeff, and Eric
All but forgotten, except to the history
books in the old boat museum.

They still have the Old Salt’s race,
every year in July.
One year it rained, and they gave my Grandpa Rex
the prize, because he entered so many times and never won.
But what will happen, when the boats start brushing the shore?
Our Loonfeather is trapped at the marina, her blue covered
snapped all the way up. Our other boat,
the Dread Knot (because my father dreads driving it so),
was smashed again a dock, the night our extension dock broke off.
That would never happen with a real dock, one that was built
before the Island started sinking.
The one I used to paddle under in an inflatable raft.
And the seaweed creature, I was sure was going to eat me
is hidden under the thin new replacement boards.

1 comment:

Mary Wagner said...

I also remember the old hotel on Coryell Island.
It would be great to have someone to share memories of the island with.
Mary (