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Susan F. Benjamin


Winter’s Beach

There you go again,
fingering death in icy tide pools,
plucking broken conch shells,
chipped carcasses of sand dollars, decomposing
crab backs like treasures wrought by Hedes.

Pockets full you stumble across lumpy, wind-blown sands,
finding another icy pool, seaweed cluttered rock,
digging for the split quarters of a horseshoe crab.

Finding instead
a retarded boy,
eyebrows dark and thick, hair curly
as a Greek god’s,
plucking at death’s remains like the best of mortals,
plastic pail crammed with clam shells snail shells conch shells
humble offerings heaved onto the earth’s windswept shores.

He speaks softly to his caretaker,
a rotund girl with flowing hair, soft fingers
who gingerly 
deep into the waters, beneath the craggy rocks.

He speaks, stops, seeing you, seeing
loose within your palm the molted horseshoe remnant,
and pauses for one stupid instant
staring, with pointed finger,
face all stark delight,

envying what you have.



Susan F. Benjamin is author of seven books on various aspects of communications, a communications trainer, and host of the .com radio show The Greater Voice. She has published fiction and poetry in numerous literary magazines. 
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