poem #5 underwater

what the shell said

when the water claimed me
took my salt & copper body
deep into its bluegreen throat
and swallowed me whole
I thought of my mother
how her tears would taste
of this same saltwater
how she would wail
like the rushing sound
of tidal surge around me

warmed by the sun
I could not see beneath
the ocean’s surface
water the colour of the sky
lifted me high
still wrapped in water
slammed me into ocean floor
and in my ears my mother
a whisper in a shell
calling me home

some visceral fear
tore from me
ripped by the tide
sank into the sand
and I spread my arms like wings
soaring underwater
into rescue

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