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Low Tide

Today, as I walk along the seashore, it appears ashen,
An impenetrable grey.
A pallor, like fine sand, covers the shells at low tide.
Everywhere I see carnage,
Bleached skeletons of once magnificent sea creatures,
Decayed wood, blackened seaweed.

The ocean is a careless undertaker,
It shows little respect for these small corpses,
Tossing them at will,
Piling them along the high tide line,
Pureed, shattered ruins of once-vibrant life.

A woman in a large sun hat walks by and comments
On the beauty of the shells along the shore.
I would prefer to watch the crab
Pirouetting across the sand,
The starfish walking en pointe across the ocean floor,
The sand dollar practicing 5th position on his tiny purple legs,
But their undersea ballet is over.

I discover a small waterfront home
From which the tenant has been evicted
And put it in my pocket.

About this poem

I was walking along the ocean one day when I lived on a barrier island when I overheard a tourist commenting on the plethora of seashells and how beautiful they were. It made me think how each one once contained a living creature. This was the genesis of this poem, which is a rather bleak "take" on the seashore. The seashore, while beautiful to many, has a dark side for me.

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Written on April 21, 2016

Submitted by SharonB on September 02, 2021

43 sec read

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    "Low Tide" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/108375/low-tide>.

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