East Bay Waterfront
The ocean stretches a tentacle
of Puget Sound down to my town,
pinches Olympia by its tip.
On a map, Budd Bay is a crab claw;
the East Bay is its lesser digit.
Dredged and filled, skinned by logs,
capped by asphalt, the East Bay used
to be an estuary where
the sea pulled at Moxlie Creek.
Now, Moxlie washes underneath
the east side through a culvert.
Its mouth shows as an "o" at low tide.
Low tide exposes piling bases
clustered with mussels;
rows of posts spike the mud flats.
Chunks of parking lot, shoes,
and oyster shells with gaskets
gone are slicked by silt.
Flood tide cuts the stilts to stumps.
Most birds retreat. A hundred gulls
complain from the warehouse roof.
Water laps at dandelions.
A Styrofoam clamshell bobs,
trapped by a blackberry bush.
intersect. Rippling reflections
rise and fall. Sometimes, clouds
fall to shreds. Sun presses
through, opens to blue, bounces
the surface, and spreads my vision.