from the collection Reconnaissance
by Amy Nawrocki

This article is featured in the Autumn 2015 issue of The Wayfarer (Vol 4 Issue 2)

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This is what Thoreau
called those rickety
and shingled bungalows

that braced the wind-swept
dune sands with the kind
of poise given to

the most humble
of structures, when
wooden planks know

they are no match
for the tyranny
and heartlessness

of sea storms. When
he walked along
the Cape Cod shoreline,

Thoreau’s mapmaker feet
followed the path
his mind sought between

the Nauset Plains
and Highland Light,
the urge to become

a little more salted
seeping into his skin.
In these small shacks

he found company,
even when no other souls
were about—comfort

from a lonely stretch
of steady, barren beach.
Shelter, whatever

form it takes—whether
the lucky shade
of the high cumulus,

or the calm, temporary
sedation of low tide,
or even a sloped roof

suspended with the architecture
of nails and grooved logs
over a dry, simple place—shelter

gives respite of the sort
that clams know
pausing in the sand

before the gulls
with their appetite and spite
return to feed.


Amy Nawrocki is a Connecticut native, raised in Newtown and now living in Hamden. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas. She has received numerous honors for her poetry, including awards from the Litchfield Review Poetry Contest, the Codhill Chapbook Competition, The Loft Anthology, Phi Kappa Phi, New Millennium Writings, and the Connecticut Poetry Society. She is the author of five poetry collections: Potato Eaters, Nomad’s End, Lune de Miel, Four Blue Eggs and Reconnaissance. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Bridgeport and is mother to two cats, Maple and Django.

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