Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sally Bliumis-Dunn: Quahogue

Along the shore like white eyelids,

bleached dead clams.

I see one that is alive.

I stop and watch it open

the two locked lids of its dull shell,

let emerge a delicate foot,

like a white peony petal

that lifts the grains of sand,

burying itself, until what’s left

is a pucker on the tidal flats, pulsing.

The sand is freckled with many such holes,

and I feel let in on a secret

as when I caught the scraps 

of your voice and I knocked

and you showed me the letter

from your father who left when you were five.

And you told me that you read it, 

sometimes aloud, its white rectangle a door

you keep open like a clam’s thin syphon.


Copyright 2018 Sally Bliumis-Dunn. From Echolocation published by MadHat Press/Plume Editions, 2018)

Quahog Clam, also known as Quahogue and Quahaug (photo: Wilderness Classroom)

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