The call of a conch shell breaks dawn’s cool twilight
When staccato bird chirps peck the brain,
Dimming sleep that wrestles arousal.
The ocean’s roar—dry and chamber-trapped in pink—
Sounds the false alarm of this trick beach souvenir
Dragged inland to dust-collect on a crooked shelf
Of cheap baubles forgotten in plain sight.
A swift rushing sweeps me cold awake
To the deafening song of I-285
Drowning out the gentle Chattahoochee.
Oh, my mother, did you paddle the river
Or cast long, slow-motion lines—ambitionless
To net a mess of sun-flashed rainbow trout?
You, the dreamer, whose river fortune I never knew,
What tunes did you hum to bankside gurgles
And brief rapids gushing white into midstream?