Note from the Editors

 

   SEEING RED 

    ENDU(RED) ADMI(RED)
    DESI(RED) WONDE(RED)
    RUMO(RED) ADO(RED)
    ENAMO(RED) INSPI(RED)
    DISCOVE(RED) SAC(RED)
    HUNGE(RED) WONDE(RED)
    EXPLO(RED) FEATU(RED)
    AUTHO(RED) SEA(RED)
    DA(RED) UNCENSO(RED)
    SOA(RED) ADVENTU(RED)

 

 

    


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Shifting Sands at Bonita Beach


At lowest tide, moon spectral in the sky,
hundreds of shells rise through the sand.

What’s happening? I ask an old man.

Nothing, he says, fishing pole over his shoulder.
They’re whelks trying to burrow to safety, escape the birds.

By the dunes, waves crest and collapse.
Empty shells litter the beach. I lift one,
turn it over. Like my father’s house,
it echoes with silence—
my father, who doesn’t recognize my face.


Sometimes he hums snatches of songs,
but he has lost the key,
his shadowed smile uncertain.

White foam becomes dark sand,
the tideline no more real than the horizon.
For the whelk, daylight is often death
whereas life flourishes under the sea.

Maybe my father has entered shadow,
the sun-warmed shelter of his life.

He seems happy.
Perhaps lack of language
is something other than loss.

 

 

Mary Jo Balistreri has two books of poetry published by Bellowing Ark Press, a chapbook by Tiger's Eye Press and a small book in their Infinities Series in which she chose to write haiku. She has nine Pushcart nominations and four Best of the Net. Mary Jo is a founder of Grace River Poets, an outreach for schools, churches, and women's centers. Please visit her at maryjobalistreripoet.com


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