Remote controlled substation no. 10,
a utilitarian structure down by the tracks
that run past the ruined marina,
was built in 1931, and is now being
renovated. Scaffolding has been erected
all along its sides. A big coil
of damp rope is lying in a pile
of broken concrete, brick, and plaster.
The topmost row of the chain-link fence
that runs along the river
is twisted into barbs, and shredded
plastic sacks are snagged in the barbs
as far as the eye can see: dirty gray
and shredded, flapping in the wind.
A candy box, once green, has been
bleached out to light blue by the sun.
Silent gray boulders are lapped at
by waves. What’s that
in the mud where the tide is going out?
Buttons; bottle caps; small bits
of styrofoam that look like shells or coral;
a few dead crabs; a cracked porcelain
vessel from the Victorian era
for containing the tears shed by those
who have survived the death of loved ones.
Signs are posted to warn against
the consumption of eels by children.
This is one of three Winter 2015 GC Online Exclusive poems by Geoffrey Nutter. Click to read "The Progress" or "Two Fisherman.