Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Mother Combing Key Largo

After the storm, things beached
all along the Keys:
corpses, bottles,
bloated books bursting
out of bindings.

She turned sopped clothing
with driftwood sticks,
brushed aside the man o’ wars
purple as the rancid hands
she dared herself to touch.

She hoped to snatch doubloons
washed up like the scales
of a gilded fish,
the hurricane a boon
to Largo salvagers.

She dumped a bottle full of sand,
lifted it to her lips
and blew across the bore.

She found one unopened,
popped it with her teeth.
The cap tumbled to gleam at her feet
like a coin.

She sipped, and sipped again,
assumed the brine was beer.

--Paul David Adkins

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