By Frank Finale
Photography by Sally Vennel

I lift off the mainland
over Manahawkin Bay
into a gull’s skyway—
below the span, small boats
plow white wakes on blue waters.
Summer. I ride
into a land of Kingfishers,
Snowy Egrets, and Osprey
that nest high in wetland trees.
Rising on the bridge’s arc,
I leave behind schedules and lists,
things to do, I become
idle, receptive to tides, windsculpted
dunes, white beaches,
and the wildlife that whirl
around each. I dance to sunsets
and moonrises, wake when it dawns
on me and walk the tideline
into a new day. This bridge transports
people into another space—
an island with shape shifting
dunes and virgin tidelines
strewn with radiant treasures.

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