Blue Boat

Lowcountry Elegy

Vivian I. Bikulege

Remember,
western Pennsylvania?
We collected red oak
and yellow maple leaves
for grade school projects.

Now, 
we travel the old Woods Bridge
over a mirror, the Beaufort River,
images of blue white clouds whisked
into slate gray.

Here, 
the dancer, cordgrass, sways.
Green stalk arms wave yellow
on a strange tidal stage,
lowcountry autumn.

Last night, 
a harvest moon orbited full, 
aligning with Mars, then Jupiter,
Saturn, then Venus,
a planetary arc of heavenly bodies.

You,
are gone now,
marsh breath exhaled as fog,
sand print ghost crab apostrophes
swept away by silent wind.

Me,
feeding our garden
with tears heavy
as a Florence downpour,
a hurricane of good riddance.

Vivian I. Bikulege is a graduate of Queens University of Charlotte with an MFA in creative nonfiction. Her 2018 essay, “Cuttings” won the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Vivian writes ‘Whatever,’ a column for the Lowcountry Weekly published in Beaufort, South Carolina. She is included in the 2009 Press 53 anthology Milspeak, and was one of nine winners of the 2007 Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Open in Charleston, South Carolina. Her essays will be published in the forthcoming collection, All That We See or Seem.