From earliest memories I was drawn
to them, white spiraled snail babies
the size of a quarter or a dime,
found in the lake at my grandfatherís farm.
The razor thin clams
didnít call to me as much,
but I liked to line them up at shoreís edge,
to check their progress by the next day.
Shells are coded into my DNA,
a message possibly from another lifetime,
personal gifts from the sea,
remembrances of places travelled far and wide.
Like a pirate digging up treasured loot,
always feeling I have found gold.
Their sea-smoothed softness,
beauty of design and hue,
my eyes can spot them
from a distance down the beach.
After more than fifty years of seeking,
I have mastered the seashell stoop.
Through the decades,
my affection for shells remains stable.
Shells, in bowls, on windowsills,
stowed in sweatshirt pockets,
a thread of continuity connecting me to the child,
girl and young woman I was before.
© by Carolyn Casas.
Used with the authorís permission.