The Shore

I’m at the shore 
near the space between water and sand,
Leaning on a rail of lichen infused wood.
It invited me to lean 
As fishermen passed me by
Right near Edmonds pier.

The sound of the sound
in this northwest town
Is the ocean, always in motion.
There are some gifts only given by the sea.
Patterns of bubbles at the surface.
Dark sand, light sand in contrast.
Sea moss covered rocks.
A jellyfish floating into view.

I peer into the water,  
The surface dancing to water music
Lines of dancers going three directions.
Tiny wakes of wind, swimmer and bird
Criss-crossing transparencies.
I look down through a grid-ripple of clear salt water.

I picked up a shell on my way here.
It’s a partial shell, a common clam.
Most would toss a shell fragment back to the sand.
But today I’m not like most.
It is uncommon that I look so close.
It’s my rare moment to see this curvy common clam.
Ah the curves to be found.
Are these fragments or reminders?
There is a beauty in the arc 
near where bivalve shells attach.
I liken it to the curve of a woman 
at the small of her back
Close your eyes. 
I know you see what I mean.
Or the strong sinewy shoulder 
of a man 
just where there would be wings
If he could fly over water and sand. 

I have collected many things 
by the line between water and sand.
It helps me to remember that the ocean
Is always in motion.
I grow older
And I bring out my collection 
of beautiful sea fragments. 
I spread them on the small pine table 
where we play trivia and eat chili dogs some nights.
My memory and my eyes 
work together in small ocean motions,
like grid ripples 
by the edge of Puget sound.

Lynette Hensley 2020