Seashell, poem by Anne Born (MY PRIZED POSSESSION Poetry and Prose Series)

Silver Birch Press

by Anne Born

I am a pilgrim.

I choose
To leave a predictable life,
To carry so little,
To walk for days and days,
To pray in the presence of a saint
In a sacred space.

The symbol of this pilgrim
Is not a full dinner served on a bountiful table.
Or all those photos of Sunday-best clothed cousins in front,
Proud grown ups in the back.

It’s a seashell.
On a fraying bit of rope.

To carry while I walk,
To be my calling card,
To take the place of my past,
My name,
My provenance —
To help write my future.

I bought it years ago
In a tiny mountain town in France
Before beginning
And I’ve carried it across Spain
For years since.

It’s cracked a little from the time it fell
And someone caring came up to me running,
Did you drop this? I think…

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