Chesapeake Beach in October

by on Jan 20, 2016

fields of dried queen anne’s lace
& ripe corn along the empty highway

butterfly weed pods split apart
pulling their stalks down

chokeberries shriveled
tangle of dusty roots

gray clapboard barns
filled with hands of tobacco

roadside stands
with pumpkins, green tomatoes

& baskets of gourds
on splintered gray tables

smell of burning leaves & brine
as we approach Chesapeake bay

& the running tide
leaving mermaid’s purse & sea walnut,

moon jellies with sunfish in their tentacles
high up on the beach,

oystercatchers & laughing gulls
swooping across the breakers
in the cool moonlight

& past midnight
as we unpack the car

we smell rain
heading in our direction


Andrea Wyatt writes poetry and fiction and is the author of three poetry collections and co-editor of Selected Poems by Larry Eigner, Collected Poems by Max Douglas, and The Brooklyn Reader. Her work appears or is forthcoming in BY&BY, The Copperfield Review, Gargoyle, Hanging Loose and Blast Furnace.

4 thoughts on “Chesapeake Beach in October

    • Joan, I’m glad you liked the poem. I work on the Washington Channel, just off the Potomac River, and every once in a while the smell of the sea wafts over everything and I am transported right back to Chesapeake Bay.

  1. Very sensual writing. Haven’t heard the phrase “hands of tobacco” in ages, had forgotten it existed. I worked (northern / shade-grown) tobacco when I was 14-17 & remember some of the growers referring to tying & hanging hands of tobacco down south. Thanks for reminding me!

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