Terrain.org 11th Annual Contest in Poetry Semifinalist
Evening Colors in Jacksonville
Jacksonville’s dark water at sunset turns a translucent blue. Like semi-precious gems cut to multi-faceted perfection, each wavelet’s a ripple of that overall condition. Each wavelet, like a blue jay, refracting that one true shade of blue. Gone is the gray day. Gone is the hum drum of rush hour traffic. All that blue water infiltrating the neighborhoods in a blue ops configuration: New River, Wallace Creek, Northeast Creek, Hunter’s Creek, Blue Creek, and all the creeks that have no names robbing the atmosphere of its universal color. See how the sun bleeds on the horizon, turning the air to apricot and mauve. See how the trees in the distance hunch together in black bands. See beyond how the ocean keeps receding from the land.
Some Mornings in Jacksonville Start This Way
The end of the world is at hand. Clouds have hunkered down in the dips and crevices of the softened landscape, obscured the view from one tree to the next. Obfuscated that blue horizon, where the New River ends and the sky begins. Clamped down on the surrounding sounds with its woolen disposition, like the winter scarf wound too tight around your neck or the bridal veil you packed full of tissue and lace.
Sunset at Wilson Bay
All day the wind roughs up the water and chops it into little bits of flinty waves that glint with sparks of sunlight. The sky steals what blue remains true to that hue I’m looking for. Dawn to dusk, the bay shucks one lusty husk for another. Twilight brings a deepening, a pause that causes the gauze of blue to deepen, too. We stopped to enjoy the view linger in the depths of your eyes.
Deborah H. Doolittle has lived in lots of different places but now calls North Carolina home. A Pushcart nominee, she is the author of No Crazy Notions, That Echo, Floribunda, and Bogbound (forthcoming in 2021). She shares a home with her husband, four housecats, and a backyard full of birds.