Sunday, April 15, 2012

One Single Impression: Shells


She's wearing
her Hello Kitty
bathing suit
today. We walk
along the beach
at Cayo Costa
State Park
in Florida.
We are looking
for butterfly shells.

That's what Kylie
calls them. When
they are open,
they look like they
could fly away.
Her favorites
are pure white
like angel wings.
Mine are the ones
that look like sunrises.

She finds a half one
and picks it up
to discover
it's still alive.
She helps it
back to the water.
"If the shell is empty,
does that mean
it's dead?" she asks.
"I'm afraid so."

She's quiet for a moment.
"My dad took a bunch
of pills and I
couldn't wake him up."
We walk hand-in-hand
for a minute. "You
we're so smart
to call your mom
and get help for him."
I squeeze her hand.

She bends down
to pick up another shell.
This one is pale pink.
She examines it
for life and finds
it pulsing.
In the water it goes.
"Let's just look
for live ones
from now on."


Mr. Walker said...

So much to like about this poem - the realization that the shell is symbolic of death - then a personal connection - and then a generalization with a bit of hope.


Bruce Miller said...

Brilliantly told and poetic!

Kizmet said...

wow is this amazing the end just blew me away thanks for sharing this wonderful story it will stay on my mind for a long time.

anthonynorth said...

This is poignant and beautifully written. So many layers of meaning, too.

Giggles said...

Well this made me cry. What a dear child, so full of wisdom beyond her years! Profound, powerful poem Linda, as always!

Hugs Giggles

Paige & Shauna said...

poignant. children have a pureness
that is elegant and you have captured that quality in your poem.

Jim said...

Nice story, Linda. Kinda sad in parts, but that life, huh?

Wonderful show too, of how kids learn some of the pretty and not pretty facts of life and then how they apply them.

The Games That Children Play said...

The ability to visualize this is what makes it special. i like it a lot. Good stuff!

Linda's Poems