Walking Rye Beach mid-morning, I got lucky. Swept against the rocks, by its fierce ocean parents, I kicked up in shallow sand, a whole, still intact, not easy to find on Rye’s rocky coast a half of a clam shell. Yup! I got lucky. Cause’ just up the street to Hampton Beach, they cost a pretty penny. I slipped it into my pocket.
When I got home, I brushed, with my fingers, any sand that would remind it, other than where it came from… other than where it is.
I did the same with the pocket I carried it. Turning it inside out and shaking everything free, every tidal grain of beach sand. Knowing I wouldn’t get it all.
I placed it on a table, on my porch. I heard, without ears, spirits, east, west, south, and north… applauding me for a gift well received.
Anyway, it sits on a small iron table next to my chair. And, once in a while, having my morning cigarette and coffee, or, my evening cigarette and tea, I often wonder where you went? Were you boiled, fried, or, slithered down someone’s or something’s throat? Or maybe, your shell was cast away with a porpoise’s kiss and lives as a child of Poseidon, dancing your life away to the contemporary bands of Atlantis.
I think of you… leaving this shell for me and my cigarette, whether through sacrifice or a beloved life. I still keep this gift, left for me— to find.