But How Could We Forget?

The sea arrives steeping in a white porcelain bowl.

Mussels, clams, cod. A Dungeness crab claw

emerges from the tomato stew as if to say “I’m here.”

But how could we forget? Summer evenings

the sun still high in the periwinkle sky as you rowed out.

I’d leaned over expectant as Christmas,

haul the crab pot up hand over hand

seaweed circling my wrists.

Your gloved hand digs into the skittering evergreen mass

knowing their weight and sex by touch.

This summer, we dropped your pot into the Sound on the highest tide.

Watched the buoy marked by your hand sink into the black.

I returned every day by kayak, stirring the sun off the water

to peer for your name lost amongst the kelp, your ashes.

We walk the pebbled shore; crackle clamshells as the fog hovers

obscuring Blake Island and the Olympics beyond.

The dog you will never know pockets crab claws in his jaw

buries them amongst the garden riot of zinnias, dahlias, and nasturtiums.

Previousely published by Windfall, Fall 2016