Elm branches gesture a warning to us
in the sign language of sea anemones
as ocean currents of air eddy around us,
floating a flotsam of leaves;
grass stalks, heedless, perform calisthenics
unsynchronized to the beat of a lone shutter
spanking the white clapboard behind us.
Shadows vulture-circle above us,
swooping over the light like an old drop cloth,
frayed at the edges, trailing wisps of unsewn strands
through the salt marsh sky. There is silence
for the space of a single deep breath,
then a distant moan of despair, a sudden weeping,
and a sound like the paper crackle of a discarded draft.