Giving up the shell can be hard, but so worth it. After nomading, we find home.
Naked, the crab forgets
his hermit ways, creeping
in the oyster underworld,
brushing against minnow fins
and ugly red claws, until
nomading ends, and a home,
spiraled in calcium, appears.
A watery cosmos of green
awaits the refugee shell;
the sea is populated
by old dwellings, discarded
by molting crustaceans, spit out
for sand diggers and souvenir
hunters, strangled by a scarf
of seaweed or broken
with gravity’s axe, swung
by the long hand of the moon.
From Nomad’s End, 2010 Finishing Line Press
This poem was originally published in Four Blue Eggs, which is available from Homebound Publications (ON SALE) as well as on Amazon (paperback or e-book ON SALE!). Please consider purchasing a copy or downloading it for your Kindle or Nook and enjoying the poems on a summer day. In these transitional weeks between mother’s day and father’s day, you can read poems that honor family, nature, renewal and stamina. Enjoy. Buy a copy for your mom. This poem is for my mother, who’s birthday is today, June 1st. She’d be 72.
On My Mother’s Sixty-sixth Birthday
The hike is pleasant; the trail markers
are new, ferns and mountain laurel bloom
along the path. A soft whispering breeze
says something about remembrances
and a flimsy gasp escapes from my lungs.
Wishing for its own voice, a trickle of water
inches down a slope of jagged rocks as if
wanting just to touch something, however cool.
In a clearing, I see across the rounded tops of trees
into the valley and into the complex
gathering of green—the heart of June,
new and curious. Yet everything seems
to be empty. Despite the emeralds
all I spy are gaps; rifts appear where leaves
and bark separate, the gulf between earth
and sky is full of ever-present grey stones.
More than a half-life has passed
since we wondered whether the hair
she was losing would grow back black
or peppered with white ash, but I cannot
remember what we decided. Memory
in its detachment is as insufficient
as a summer waterfall.