It's the middle of the summer and Chronicle poet Lorraine Walker Williams is away from Sanibel. But Sanibel is always with her. Her poems appear each Thursday in the Santiva Chronicle.

Seeking Shells

On the beach a blowout tide—

Sandbars, tide pools, Gulf water

recedes exposing live shells

scattering late afternoon light.

Eyes fixed on finding tiny olive,

limpet shells that will drop through

the narrow neck of a bottle

to be carried away to mountains.

With each careful choosing,

a shell holds sea’s memory.

One live shell wiggles free and

I cast it into the shallows,

soon swallowed by waves

secure offshore.

Mid-summer when I miss

the ocean most these tide tossed

shells pull me back—

splashing salt water,

walking wet sand barefoot,

holding the sea in my hand.

          Lorraine Walker Williams

About the Poem: When a place is special, we want to carry it with us. On Sanibel nature’s gift to beachgoers is the shell, a treasure that packs easily, even in a poem.