“Let’s not,” I say
As I hand the shell back,
“I don’t want a pocket of sand today.”
But still, I keep combing the shore.
My pocket fills up more and more.
With dull-colored river clams,
Barnacled ones remind me of whales.
Some shine iridescent on the ground.
They capture my view,
I neglect every sound.
An eagle circles over fanned-out trees,
And wind churns the river as if it were sea.
I dig with my toe
To uncover one more.
Broken, chipped, I toss to the floor.
My family stands gathered.
I raise my head,
Let go of the shell, and join them instead.
Cover image by xiaokang Zhang.