Nature’s whisper on our coastal hike

To Africa

I step tentatively at first.
But the shells are too many
to avoid the crunch under my feet.

I long to rush to your rescue:
gather you in my shirt, protect you
from a world too cruel
for your fragile existence.

Like the potato bugs who-
in my youthful eyes- were vulnerable
to church-goers’ towering heels,
careless steps.

I collected my beneficiaries
and found them new homes.
In Styrofoam cups, nested with torn grass
and good intention.

Just like the critters,
you find your end
beneath my [misplaced] feet and care.

Shadows surface
in the wounded shells and upturned rocks-
more real than any woven story of refuge.
I fear: it is me
from whom you need saving.


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