Memorial (Willows Beach)

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By Cate Sandilands

only a slight opal glow
distinguishes the tiny corpse
from the bleached driftwood
that encloses it

lilliputian flippers show
a harbor seal fetus
white and eyeless
mouth frozen in a question

only dogs notice
summoned by whiffs of decay
they nose the passing

close by a garish
handmade shrine
for two murdered daughters
draws a line of passers-by who

can only bear to glance
at the bright gaping wound
of such unholy deaths
for the briefest of seconds

lest they be forced
to attend to their own grief

and wail openly

          
Cate Sandilands lives part time in Toronto and part time on Galiano Island, BC.

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