Sunday, December 17, 2017


Unknown photographer, "A beach scene," 2017

At the corners of my eyes, tear
stains dry to sand and grit. I walk
along tide-pools as a shorebird,
in my dreams; I wade through a
slow-moving estuary, picking at
clams buried in silt mud. I wake
and knuckle the crumbs of sleep
away until I’m rubbed raw, my
own tears stinging me. When I
was a child, rheumy-eyed old
women would try to hold me—
great-grandmothers and other
kin—and I shied away. Why was
their skin all bristled and bumpy,
why were they so wet-eyed? No,
I did not want them to kiss me.
Clear-eyed, unknowing, I’d run
off down the edge of the shore,
run past the lace edge of the sea,
chasing the sandpipers as I ran.

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