by Joan Dobbie

Photo by Joan Dobbie

(For my Mother, Angela Thaler, whose
words I am using verbatum)

The sea,
says my mother, drawing away,
is alive, see how she breathes,
how she reaches
her claws
toward the land,

to her steady, unrelenting
moan. In Bali,
says my mother

the gods live in the mountains
and the sea is reserved
for the demons

beaches created
for tourists alone. Yes,

I agree, pulling her forward
the sea
is alive, she’s our
mother, our own blood descended
from sea water. Yes,

says my mother,
holding her ground,
it’s true we’re her children
but some mothers, you know,
eat their children.

Copyright 1993
Joan Dobbie