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  Poetry: At Low Tide

At Low Tide

By Nancy Willard

At low tide, when Water opened
her workshop, her shining hands unrolled
a fabric so light I saw straight down
to the loom on which it was born --

long ropes of sands rigid like muscles
on the sea's floor, seeded with
ghostly pebbles polished like eggs
waiting in weedy nests

and a crab claw hugging its shadow
and the pleated rim of a clam,
till the sea threw out a net
that spun itself from the breath of the waves,

in threads so fine I saw its shine
in leaf and stone and the sunset's plumage
and the light that was always there,
waiting for me to find it.


Commentary by Kathleen Norris: Poetry gets to the heart of things, putting into words the deepest concepts. Water is necessary for life; the ocean is mother of us all. With utter simplicity, this poet takes us to the ocean's edge and makes us see, touch, and feel the gift—and the mystery—of water.

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