Afternoon, Hart Beat. How’s your day going? It’s rainy here on the Island so I’ve spent the morning writing up a storm. As a distraction, I decided to do some catching up on my emails from The Poetry Foundation. I’ve written about it here on Hart Beat before but if you’re new, The Poetry Foundation sends a daily newsletter that you can sign up for where a poem a day is emailed to you. The poems are usually seasonally appropriate and I love finding time in my busy day to sit down and read them. If I don’t like them I usually archive the email but, if the poem does hit me, I’ll save it and re-read them throughout the week.
This morning, this poem by Carmen Ginénez Smith came into my inbox and I knew I wanted to share it here with you, Hart Beat. The poem is from 2009 and, as usual, is about this month. I love it. What do you think, Hart Beat?
Photo of a Girl on a Beach
By Carmen Ginénez Smith
Once when I was harmless
and didn’t know any better,
a mirror to the front of me
and an ocean behind,
I lay wedged in the middle of daylight,
paper-doll thin, dreaming,
then I vanished, I gave the day a fingerprint,
I sat naked on a towel
on a hot June Monday.
The sun etched the inside of my eyelids,
while a boy dozed at my side.
The smell of all oceans was around us—
steamy salt, shell, and sweat,
but I reached for the distant one.
A tide rose while I slept,
and soon I was alone. Try being
a figure in memory. It’s hollow there.
For truth’s sake. I’ll say she was on a beach
and her eyes were closed.
She was bare in the sand, long,
and the hour took her bit by bit.
The illustration above is by I think Eugenia Loli. She’s been featured on Hart Beat before and you can read more here.