My hunger extends to the ocean,
wanting to be where I am not.

I read surrender
and think inaction.

Last night a massive thunderstorm passed
and our dog hid in the laundry room.

Inconsolable, we went to bed without him.
And this morning, he came up around six.

I read solitude
and think I already spend a great deal of time alone.

My husband left for work upset
because making plans led to frustration.

Our house sits on a busy road with no sidewalks.
Walking requires a ride in the car.

I read community
and think my family lives thousands of miles away.

All spring the turtles left the reservoir behind the house
to lay their eggs in the front yard. We have yet to see any babies.

The reading says solitude comes before community.
Perhaps that is why I am still here, in this place.

I have yet to surrender, practice my devotion
until the way appears and the turtle eggs hatch.



Another hurricane off-shore,
and another shooting yesterday.
All but ordinary.

And I drink my second cup of tea,
put down my pen,
remove my husband’s shirts from the dryer.

Open the front door and gather the mail.
Only one piece today, a catalogue, Poetry.
Today’s news, a list of students shot in Oregon.

Turbulence in the Atlantic. East Coast Shore lines
bracing for erosion. Flood warnings, school closings.
Perhaps for weather or safety.

Harmony too much to ask for. Five inches of rain expected.
Poquoson, already flooded and the marina
on Wormly Creek hauling boats from the water.


Elaine Fletcher Chapman (formerly Elaine Walters McFerron) is the author of a volume of poems, Hunger for Salt published by Saint Julian Press. She worked on staff at The Bennington Writing Seminars, Bennington College for 18 years. She founded The Writer’s Studio where she teaches poetry and nonfiction, provides editing services and organizes Poetry Readings and Crossing Over Writing Retreats on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. For the last 38 years she has worked as a therapist in private practice. She also teaches iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation Her poems have been published in The Tishman Review, The EcoTheo Review, The Cortland Review, Connotation, The Sun, Calyx, Poet Lore, 5AM, Salamander, and others. She was guest blogger on The Best American Poetry Blog and The Solstice Literary Magazine blog. Green River Press published her letterpress chapbook, Double Solitude. She now lives on the West side of the Chesapeake Bay near the James River in Newport News, Virginia. She also spends a great deal of time in the San Francisco Bay area. Trailer and Poetry Videos for Hunger For Salt: or