The Norfolk-Southern Railroad bridge spans the Pamlico River at Washington, NC. One end vanishes in the fog, the other ends abruptly at the draw span.
The fog has leeched the color from the photo except for the red light of a single channel marker.
As an old man Bill Seller remembered when he was young, staying at his grandparent’s house in Washington beside the Pamlico River, windows open in the sultry heat, listening to the freight trains slowly cross the bridge in the middle of the night, restricted to 10 miles per hour over the wooden trestles, counting the cars as their wheels clattered across the open joint at the end of the draw span.
Grandpap is an island sunk in the Pamlico River downstream of Washington, NC. The island has been eroded by storms. It’s only a name on the charts now, a shoal patch, and the bones of some cypress trees rooted in the water.
The trees stand isolated in the fog. A few sodden cormorants dry themselves on leafless limbs. The river flows past sluggishly on its way to the Pamlico Sound.