THREE WOMEN ON A BEACH (FOR EDITH, MARGRET, ROSETTA ON MARCO ISLAND, FLORIDA)
Three women walk with shells
Tradewinded lives of poetry.
One picks up a conch--never a cowrie,
Shells made into quilts is what they wish to sew
As feet caress sand along the Gulf of Mexico.
Ten pelicans they see--feathered soldiers standing still
And they think now of their lives, sometimes made ill
By their men, by their mothers, by drug addicted brothers, by
Paradoxes of black muliebrity,
Longing for their Annabelles in their kingdom by the sea.
Seaweed shaped like ginseng twistedly lying in the sand
Its roots conjure up for one--a figure of a man
Not a man she thinks of,
But how thoughts are only figures of speech.
It is not the shells they think of,
But quilted images they weave into each.
Never ever to form the thought of just,
Three women on a beach.