Gulls are coming inland,
a sure sign a storm brews
on the bay.

We tie the vines tight
to the arbor and pray
for our neighbors.

Bay folk wear watermarks well,
Sandbags and faith
make a strong foundation.

Candlelight softens the dark.
I think of the grape Vitis labrusco,
‘Fox grape’

It slips out of its skin
with a squeeze,
its heart barely bruised.

Ecclesiastical approbation
at home on table or altar,
sweet on the lips.

Nature gives
and she takes . The wind
has begun to throw stones.


I was five hundred miles away from family and friends when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast in 2011. While waiting to hear they were okay (they were,) I wrote this poem.

 Fox grape is a sweet grape often used in altar wines as well as in table wines and grape jelly. The Vitis labrusco vine is the source of the Concord (a fox grape) which is the grape most commonly found in that area.