Shell

By Harriet Brown b. 1958 Harriet Brown
I found it in the wash, the orange
shell I picked up on the beach
that last time. One of my girls—
the one named after you—

must have found it in my room
and wanted it. Clean calcareous
curve, a palm open to nothing,
reeking of sunshine

and your death. For years
I didn't know what to do with it.
You would have liked
this story: how a child

slips grief into a careless pocket.
Breaks it to pieces. Lets it go.

Source: Poetry (March 2003).

RELATED CONTENT

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Harriet Brown b. 1958

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Metaphor