I read about its ancient history in the local paper.
Now, here was one stranded outside the motel,
its underside exposed like an offering to seagulls or the sun.
How long have you been waylaid here?
It’s motionless. I kneel, gingerly touch the edges of its shell.
Eight legs awaken: frantic piano hammers strike at the air.
I carefully pick up the weighty creature, totter beyond
the tidal pools where saturated sand sucks at my feet.
Magnificent bronzed shellacked shell.
I look at its multiple eyes. Does it see me?
I release it with a gentle push toward the ocean.
It glides on a ripple, I hover in the shallows.
-Poem by Lynn Fanok
Lynn Fanok’s forthcoming book of poetry, Bread and Fumes (Kelsay Books, 2020), explores the cultural influences of her father’s Ukrainian heritage, and the complexities of being the daughter of a WWII labor camp survivor. Her work is also included in the forthcoming poetry anthology, Carry Us to the Next Well, (Kelsay Books). Lynn’s poetry has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly and several other journals. She lives with her husband in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where she leads a poetry series at a local independent bookstore. lynnfanok.weebly.com