Inside My Shell

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Baby on the Beach by L. Clarkson Circa 1870

#1

Inside my shell I am still a little girl

Hiding from the boogeyman

Hoping the sound of the sea doesn’t wake him.

 

Today—the shell against my ear

There is no sound

The sea isn’t singing

Its swishing song.

 

Another song fills the well

Familiar and haunting

From the center of the spiral

A low, rumbling, wail.

 

Still a little girl

Afraid of the boogeyman

Hoping the sea

Won’t wake her.

 

#2

The shell I choose

Could be the nautilus

I spiral down into its center

Revealing only a tiny sliver of me or maybe

Shut tight as a clam

Filtering the brine of you

Are you real?

Are you safe?

Perhaps, opened wide

As Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”

Revealing the pearl within

It all depends on you.

 

#3

Holding a bright pink, plastic bucket,

She skips along the water’s edge

Looking for seashells,

Finding dead fish and crabs

Baking in the summer sun.

She stares at their death

As though she understands

The sands’ murderous burning.

 

This beach was littered with seashells once

Sand dollars half buried

Could be lifted whole

Before the Grand Isle shore

Was littered with oil derricks

And foreign fishermen.

 

Now the beautiful shells are gone

Replaced by dead fish and tar balls

She still skips along

Empty, bright pink, bucket and all.

© 2017 Bessie Adams Senette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby on the Beach by

  1. Clarkson Circa 1870

 

Published by

Bessie Senette

Bessie Senette is the author of Cutting the Clouds: a Bayou Mystic’s Poems, Musings, and Imaginings – an autobiographical collection of poems and essays about the life and culture of her bayou upbringing and the spirituality that informs her traditional healing gifts. Her current work-in-progress is Louisiana Pines: Homeland Poems and Vignettes; a chapbook that poetically explores her beloved home state.

One thought on “Inside My Shell”

  1. As always, astounding. Loss of what was and reclaiming what is…..

    Love you.

    You coming on Sacred sOund Journeys to the U K next Spring???

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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