shell

one tiny touch filled with love
is like the weight of a kind hand holding you in place
when you feel papery thin
weight that proves itself worthy of trust

 on the other hand,
a million light vague goings-over
are just that.
shallow unnoticings, disinterested combings
half-hearted searches coming up with a full bucket
but empty heart

if a beach comber returns
everyday for years
but searches with one eye on the street
because he expects to find nothing lovely--
he may be disciplined, but is he a lover?
because even if those light searching hands return,
if they have seen once, but return without anticipation,
is that not rejection?


but if one lone soul, walks one lonely day
scouring and delighting at what he sees at his feet,
reaching tenderly to brush a ridged dome,
then almost timidly, requesting permission,
tips the shell over to see the smooth pink hollow,
strokes with one fingertip the glossy vacancy
wondering what lived there
and how the shell felt about it...

even if he gives her back to the sand,
and never returns,
which hand loved more?

and maybe the ridged dome etches into his soft heart,
unfurling it enough for a new smooth pink hollow...
whose to say what may live there next.

maybe the weight in that single fingertip
proves enough to moor her against the next wave and comber
or maybe the shell drifts back to the sea...
but this time she chooses.

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