Best of the Net 2009  

Collecting Sea Shells, You Don't Stop

Collecting sea shells, you don't stop
until your hands and pockets are full.
You find the thick ear of an oyster valve,
the whisper of a chipped whelk.
Which ones are dull, which glisten?
You rinse each shell, hold it against
the sun. It's what comes next—revision.

- Erin Murphy (from The Summerset Review)