In the bathroom mirror, I stand dim
and old. The women are all around me. On the walls
and the door. Behind the thick, plastic stalls. Scratching.
The trees speak soft tonight, but the skinny one rubs herself
against the bricks out there.
Sloughing off scrolls of paper skin.
Wooden walls wooden walls.
The green public bathroom on Cumberland Island
next to the Live Oak trees.
Those ropes that dug and wormed their way
into the earth. I hear the Chincoteague ponies,
their manes swishing.
I am sitting in the sand, the dunes are white and sloping,
and somewhere far off are the horses.
The beach trees mime the story
of that fallen Magnolia in my yard back home.
The root ball that kicked
up the wooden fence and set Aggie free.
I went running through the neighborhood
all day to find her. Sitting in a small mailbox
with her paws crossed.
She followed me home, scratching. She sniffed at the dark walls,
the ones I’m building in the sand. The dunes crash against themselves
like splintering wood. “We’re going home, girl.
This sand is soft like home.”
Bernadette (Bernie) Bridges is a senior in Columbia College studying creative writing with a focus in poetry. She would love to eat some boiled cabbage right about now. Instagram