Biting wind makes music against my skin
in the way my mother used to trace her fingers across my cheeks.
The place where I stand on my own two feet,
brought higher from the solitude,
brought cold and clear-cut and breathtaking.
I stand because I am alive.
I stand alone because I can.
The great Pacific presence stretches out
before wide eyes and wild hair,
and takes all back with the tide.
Bright shells and mollusk magic made
in pools that disappear
just as fast as they came.
I cradle sea stars in my hands
and watch the ocean depart.
Everything that mattered to me before,
made smaller on the northern shore.