Whispers from the Sand

1 min

Hannah Rousselot is a queer French-American poet and educator. Her work revolves around her experiences with mental illness, love, loss, and her connection to the world. Her poetry has appeared in  [+]

Image of Rendez-Vous, September 2019 issue

The seashells near the ocean
where I grew up are storytellers.

Every morning, feet burning in the sand
(yellow, the sun) I run to listen

to what they have to say. They tell me
about creatures that live in darkness

so profound they make their own light.
They tell me about forgotten things:

bottles, diapers, shoes, cars, rings,
rusted metal and disintegrating paper.

They tell me about fragility, and how
that can be strength, too. When I leave

and walk back home, I remember
their voices, but not their words.


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Image of Prithvijeet Sinha
Prithvijeet Sinha · ago
You illuminated your worldview with wisdom in few words. That's the true power of poetry and you have succeeded in conveying the haunting conscience of our environmental crusaders, especially in the era of Greta Thunberg.
Image of Kristy Roser Nuttall
Kristy Roser Nuttall · ago
This is such a beautiful poem!! I love the idea of seashells being storytellers. Your language and imagery are lovely. I am a beach comber at heart and I love to find beach treasures and I also try to pick up any garbage I find on the beach. One time a man asked me if I worked at a restaurant near a beach I was cleaning up, I just looked up at him and said, "We all work here." What I meant is, we're all part of this planet, and it's everyone's "job" to take care of it. I'm not sure he got all that, but maybe he thinks about my words sometimes and picks up a stray water bottle that would have gotten tangled into a sea turtle.

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