national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Cape

Erica Hauswald  • 
Grinnell College

Even the air is ice-

ridden. Locals rehash

 

the sweep of tides flushing

out debris, clams

 

freezing in their pitch-

gray sandbeds. This wintertime

 

summer home sits

dark on its plot.

 

Tree frogs chirp until

nine, then disappear,

 

sleeping in the scrub pine.

Defiant in its anti-

 

urbanity, this house releases

not a single sound.

 

My spine curls, fetal,

trapping in

 

some spot of body

heat. The pitch

 

of my own breathing

frightens.