Mother, Ocean, Tear

by Gord Sellar

the first women
emerged from oceans
carrying within
fistfuls of it, hidden

to anoint husbands,
baptize children, months-long
to pass a sacred drop into each daughter

what is a tear
except whispered
memory, brine, carried from

do the fishes weep? do they
fill depths for
us, mourning lost cousins?
Do deep ones,
freakish luminous things,
nameless jellies, floating
shadow-tentacled monsters? Through the glass
you shudder, snapping pictures;
wonder, does it remember

families have limits, boundaries,
barriers, photos that will never
be kept in albums, names
not made for genealogies

you will never learn to

— Saskatoon, 1996

February 10, 2012

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