By Dee Stribling

This image entails a photo collage of items found on a North Carolina beach, as well as the text of a poem called “Saturday Left Behind.” Dee Strbling is the poet and the photographer. The poem follows: SATURDAY LEFT BEHIND Sound laps soft at waters edge, gentle waves touch morning’s shore. Egret and heron with lifted legs watch for tiniest sand cloud stir and puff. Crab awakens peeking out, says the night was long and full of stars. All peace reigns on this lost cove where hand-hewn oar washed up years ago. Remnants of fisherman’s shack now tilt toward sound, expect boat’s return. No fisherman hands now row, only island oaks tangle with briars and grass. Distant sounds and diesel smells float across water calm and smooth. Wind pushes remnants of someone’s Saturday wrapped in plastic sails. Tiny rafts of color, red from a kid’s balloon, bits of line, die in tangled mess. Gull pays slight attention as these gifts bob and pitch onto white linen shore. Scattered about they lie exposed, wait to be picked up and used again. Osprey cry stirs air, brings back the wind, buries all abandoned at tide’s door.

Photos by Dee Stribling.

Poem and pictures reprinted with author’s permission from Down East Picture Book (2017), as published by Horse & Buggy Press.

Dee Stribling writes prose and poetry about how landscape and culture can shape communities. Currently Hillsborough’s Poet Laureate, she is a North Carolina native with a doctorate in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To learn more, visit her website.

This poem was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Coastwatch.