Shells
by Karen Karpowich


She collects starfish and other mollusks.
Her basket is full as she runs to catch a train.
Sand covers her fingers as she studies
each perfect specimen.
She writes letters. They are never mailed.
Her comfort comes in seaside cafes,
reaching a hand out in friendship
to people she will never see again.
It’s winter in the place of her birth.
Today at the equator she feels wind off a rough sea.
Never lingering, buying tickets on sleeping cars,
she is always in motion.
Her dreams are filled with the laughter and chiding of a house filled with daughters.
When she wakes there is only the silence.






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