by Donna Zephrine
From Bridgeport, Connecticut
To Port Jefferson, New York
Paddling a kayak for 20 miles
Two people working their way across Long Island Sound.
Exercising legs and hip muscles
Building endurance through calm and choppy waters
Staying on the waterway route
Marked by buoys along the way
The smell of salt water
Birds and seagulls flying overhead
Bass, fluke and blue fish jump up from the water
A feeling of freedom
NOTE: The trip from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Port Jefferson, New York, across Long Island Sound measures about 19.2 miles. Long Island Sound is a tidal estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, lying predominantly between Connecticut to the north, and Long Island in New York to the south. From west to east, the sound stretches 110 miles from the East River in New York City, along the North Shore of Long Island, to Block Island Sound. A mix of freshwater from tributaries and saltwater from the ocean, Long Island Sound is 21 miles at its widest point and varies in depth from 65 to 230 feet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Zephrine was born in Harlem, New York, and grew up in Bay Shore, Long island. She graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work in May 2017, and currently works for the New York State Office of Mental Health at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center Outpatient SOCR (State Operated Community Residence). A combat veteran who completed two tours in Iraq, she was on Active duty Army stationed at Hunter Army Airfield 3rd Infantry Division as a mechanic. Since returning home, Donna enjoys sharing her experiences and storytelling through writing. Donna’s stories have appeared in the New York Times, Writers Guild Imitative, Suicide, The Seasons, Lockdown, New World, Qutub Minar Review, Summer, War and Battle, Bards Initiative, Radvocate, Oberon, Long Island Poetry Association, and The Mighty. In her spare time, Donna plays sled hockey for the Long Island Rough Riders and serves an advisory board on Heroes to Heroes.