Stonecoast Review Issue 5

Seashells

Written By: Liz N. Clift

After the funeral, we found mold scumming
coffee left for days in the pot and bills pressed
between pages of books. We found the dancing
hamster we gave my grandmother one Christmas
in her stocking. I sorted through costume jewelry,
through her clothes, through letters and decades
of old birthday cards. I found a lock
of my great grandmother’s hair,
my grandmother’s first pair of shoes, a picture
of the grandfather I never met, a sweatshirt
from the college I’d gone to, imagined my grandmother
wearing it, the letters sliding off the edges of her chest.
I remembered our last Christmas together,
spent on a south Texas coast. I walked
the beach for hours, out of reach
of the waves, looked for the broken shells
my grandmother told me she liked best,
In her closet, I found a shoebox
full of broken scallops and augers,
and underneath, a layer of perfect sand dollars.

Liz N. Clift holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, Hobart, Passages North, Booth, The National Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Colorado.