day 2- shorten a long poem

by larapayne

This is a fun exercise for me, someone who can be a bit wordy, and someone who doesn’t have much time for revision. Nap time = revision (and generation, ha!) time.

This poem is many years old.

If you see any lines/images you think should remain(from earlier draft, below) please let me know!

thanks.

The Shore
on the St. Mary’s River

Shore erodes, a shy gesture
under the high tide, a weight of oyster.
Glass chimes sound by my feet.

A hundred miles from here my mother
believes she is saving us, points to her forehead,
says, “My third eye is open all hours, I can’t sleep.
I have to save them.”

Wind lifts my hair, silence folds into me.
Boulders guard the sand. A frayed
discard of anchor rope.

Some oysters hold close to life, a whole shell
attached to a broken one.
I pick them up and drop them back in the water
over and over.

and, the longer one….
The Shore
on the St. Mary’s River

Shore erodes
a shy gesture, fingers that flutter
under the high tide
and wave to the mid-day sun.

Along the coastline a weight of oyster,
cracked shells, empty. I pick one up
it swings open, drops a pebble.
Glass chimes sound by my feet,
a push of worn rock and shell
against each toe.

A hundred miles from here my mother
believes she is saving us; you, me,
every sad person in every danger. She imagines
people drowning in a deep sea, herself the only
savior, pulling them out.

She points to her forehead, says, “My third eye
is open all hours, I can’t sleep. I have to save them.”
At the end of visiting hours we ask her to rest.
Hug her goodbye, fold  her nightgown in easy reach.

Wind lifts my hair as the shore silence folds into me.
Stillness. A marriage of sun, sand and wave.
Someone has placed boulders to guard the sand. On one a frayed
discard of anchor rope, woven blue-grey,
a tiny band of metal holds one end together.

Some oysters hold close to life, a whole shell
attached to a broken one.
I pick them up and drop them back in the water.
I do not know much about saving, or whether the tide
will bring them back, but do this over and over.

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