Today's poem is by Anne McCrary Sullivan

Notes from a Marine Biologist's Daughter

My mother loves the salty mud of estuaries,
has no need of charts to know what time
low tide will come. She lives
by an arithmetic of moon,
calculates emergences of mud,

waits for all that crawls there, lays eggs,
buries itself in the shallow edges
of streamlets and pools. She digs
for chaetopterus, yellow and orange
worms that look like lace.

She leads me where renilla bloom
purple and white colonial lives,
where brittle stars, like moss,
cling to stone. She knows
where the sea horse wraps its tail
and the unseen lives of plankton.

My mother walks and sinks into an ooze,
centuries of organisms ground
to pasty darkness. The sun
burns at her shoulders
in its slow passage across the sky.
Light waves like pincers
in her mud-dark hair.

Copyright © 2009 Anne McCrary Sullivan All rights reserved
from Ecology II: Throat Song from the Everglades
WordTech Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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