Lady Liberty Finds Sand Dollars in Coronado
I pay no attention to lovers twined
around each other like ropes on
sailboat masts. My eyes avoid their
youth, fixed instead on
the afternoon horizon—the swath of
sand too wide at low tide. It covers
disks of purple buried under ripples of
ground-up diamonds and fool’s gold.
I thought they were nettles at first.
Those are the ones I step on at home.
But these are natural money, some the color of
blueberries, some sunbleached if they happen
to land past the water’s border. I leave
the ones still detained by waves
alone, hoping their leaf shaped hearts still
beat, and their fuzzy bellies will push them back out.
Others I collect, trying my best not to crush
them in my granite hand. It does resemble gathering
fruit, where berries sharing a bush can be different
ages, different phases of ripe. I toss a few, reject them to
the dunes for decay. Perhaps some
blue-eyed child will scoop them
up and see this treasure worthy
of his stolen home.
MY Middle Age in Ocean Beach
The revolution is still alive
And inspires people of all
Ages to let loose and dance
Because everyone else is
Letting their freak flag
Fly, and I may as well
Wave mine with youthful
Pride, for there is still
Time to celebrate the
Party of life.
–the typewriter troubadour
I’ve never surfed, but I’ve boogied
on both coasts and in places between and
beyond. So, since the adorable troubadour has
given me permission to let the “freak flag
fly,” I’ll stand on the pier and watch wave riding stunts
below while someone blows bubbles over
these hippies like the troubadour spit
wisdom from his keys. That’s how I know that
we’re all riding tides, doing that impossible thing of
taking flight and floating
We don’t waste our time on
the mushy swell that spends strength we’ll need on
the paddle back.
That’s how I know this Pisces isn’t just
a fish. I am the sea.
When I rage, and froth and fume,
respect me from a distance, but please
don’t go away. I need you there
to tell me I’m still beautiful, even
when I’m mad. Because there will be
mornings when I’m glass reflecting
the bottom where my thoughts are
conchs, sand dollars, starfish, unbroken and
waiting. On balance, I give
life so much more than
I take away.
Image: CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=553056