Chincoteague, Virginia Eastern Shore

Herring gull dragged from the cordgrass by a bay cat,
who drops the sputtering gull under a tree.

The gull’s left wing and leg are broken — right wing thrashing,
body turning round a point, compass tracing a circle.

Wild chorus of gulls tracing the same circle in salt haze
only wider, concentric, thirty feet overhead.

The cat lying down in shade, making furtive stabs,
powerful paws slapping down motion.

The cat’s feral, calico-covered muscles ebb and shudder
in the bay breeze. She is Spartina, waving in wind or water.

Now she yawns indelicately, fur and feathers
lofting on the incoming tide.

The gull plants his beak in the sand,
tethered, like all of us, to fate.


Scott Edward Anderson was a Concordia Fellow and poet-in-residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts in November 2002. His work received the Nebraska Review Award in 1997 and the Aldrich Emerging Poets Award in 1998. His poetry has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Blueline, The Cortland Review, Cross Connect, Earth’s Daughters, Isotope, Nebraska Review, River Oak Review, Slant, and Terrain, among other publications. He is one of the founding editors of Ducky Magazine.