Solomons Riverwalk by Annie Przypyszny


A short strip of shore, which we elongated
by walking in zig-zags, meandering from the dry, 
golden grass that scraped our ankles
to the tongue of the Patuxent. This was the northern mouth 
of the river, it’s denim-blue waters blending 
with the Chesapeake in a potion of freshness 
and brine. Denizens of the of the bay 
were washed up on the sand, left to reek

in the mid-Atlantic summer sun. My grandfather
led my brother and I to the belly-up carcass 
of a horseshoe crab, its dark, tarantula legs folded
in its shell. My grandfather flipped its bulk around 
with a stalk of driftwood, its leather-colored husk
gleaming like an army helmet, tail a bayonet. Further down,
we stepped over the soft dead bodies of moon jellyfish, 
ghosts of gloss.


A short distance south of that shore stands 
the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. It reaches
over a mile across the river, from Calvert 
to St. Mary’s County. Cars drive up
and down its 2-lane spine all day, tossing
cigarettes and cola cans over the guard rail, 
which is so low it is almost purposeless.
Since its construction, over twenty people have jumped

from the bridge. Countless more have thought 
about doing so, even if only in passing.
We’ve all considered it: how instead of pushing 
forward to the other side, we could eschew 
linear journeys all together, trade the successiveness of life
for a cave of water—not a tired, local-news suicide but a deep 
disappearance, an answered calling, leaving no limp
or mournful shell to wash up on the sand.


Annie Przypyszny is a student at American University, majoring in Creative Writing. She is also the assistant poetry editor for The Adirondack Review. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in 30 North, The Oakland Arts Review, Pacifica Literary Review, ANGLES, North Dakota Quarterly, Ponder Review, and elsewhere.