Weathered

From the field
I watch fog close in
until I see only
three hundred feet in all directions,
a murky dome.

Beyond, the rest of the island
in similar isolation
could be gone.
Only the spider webs,
shining mist nets
strewn across grass,
are real.

They've studied weather here for years:
pressure, precipitation, temperature, wind
changes neatly recorded in
tables, grey nets strewn 
across pages and pages,
capturing numbers
that capture
the mood of the place,
how it evolves
and, astoundingly,
why.    

This mood
might be real too, though
less visible than 
clear webs.

Pressure changes:
        In my dome, I shrink and grow.
Precipitation changes:
        In my dome, soak and dry.
Temperature changes: 
        In my dome, heat and cool.
Wind changes:
        In my dome, back and forth,
      only three hundred feet in all directions.

Shining mist nets across grass
make moisture visible, drops collecting
so I can capture how they
shrink and grow,
soak and dry.

Not easy to capture
the mood of this dome,
how it evolves-why?
So many fine strings
to keep separate
when dew makes them stick together.
Pressure: high.

Don't know about the rest of the (what rest of the
could be gone!) island.

If there are other domes,
I hope there are other nets
to capture the changing
before it's gone.

Years of weather
neatly recorded,
an impulse to capture
and understand why.

It comes back to fog,
vapor settling us into isolation,
wrapping the island
into itself.

-- Anne Rothacker '11