Sunday, September 03, 2006


Landbound, I dream of the coast:
The kiss of salt on my lips, the bite of sun on my cheeks,
Roiling surf seducing me, caressing me,
depositing one perfect whelk at my feet.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh promised me a gift from the sea.

So we go.

The beaches are quieter, early in the morning,
before the crest of the heat and the swell of the crowds.
We share the shoreline with a large Amish family.
Incongruous: the girl-children dance in the waves
in their blue and purple dresses.

No whelks or sand-dollars are to be found;
Nothing glamorous and fine.
Only mussels, black and glistening,
a few broken quahogs,
irregular oysters,
and the occasional shattered slipper.

I gather them anyway.
Rinsing off the sand,
turning them in my hands,
laying them gently in an orange pail.
Each of these was created by God
and lived out its life with dignity.
May the same be said for me.

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