Sand Dollar Island
                       —for Linda

Of course all of our adventures are bathed    
in Sarasota sunshine, where manatees rise
to greet the spangled surface of remembrance
and waves still break on boundless summer sand.      
How brave I thought I was to sail with you
and cup some briny creature in my hand!
But it was always you who took the helm, 
patient captain, now weathered friend, explaining
how an injured seabird heals or why       
the crazy-looking fiddler crab must use
its giant claw to fight and mate. Back then,
I couldn’t wait to free my anchored Jersey
mindset just to venture back into
such tides and depths I’d never dare to travel
on my own. Salt and foam engulf
my wrist as velvet grazes fingertips:
the memory of a slowly swimming ray.
Ah, the laughing ice cream jaunts we took
to beat the crazy liquid heat! What would    
we do without those wild coquina days?



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