22 March 1924 – 20 November 2003
Annemarie was devoted to harmony, beauty, and the joy of good conversation.
not for the morning paper, but for the daily news
from a kelp-covered world,
bending over the sucking sands at low slack,
in the gap between the tides, even as her own life
slipped slowly through its bright glass of hours.
over a table
through the snowsleep
of the dreamdark months,
assembling her collection of this and that,
piecing together a jaunty mathematics of the sea
from the disregarded bits and broken
rainbows of lives, like the dirty
secrets of long-abandoned shell homes
with their pink and white corrugated roofs,
the doodled-on cracked carapace of crab
or the beerless bottle bumped
from rock to brine-drunk rock,
all made equal to whole pearly stones
at the flick of a bottleless cap, or when
a flight of oyster clouds is buttoned
over a single jewelling fish
which swims to a gold watch
strapped to the big blue bucket
that waits at china’s end. Framed,
they hang on the Blind Channel docks,
outlasting her inestimable life.
We who come are mended in their presence.
Daisies she planted below each mosaic
grow man-size, peer into them,
themselves wayward beauties, salvaged
from a lethal jagged edge.
The years wash one upon another,
keep delivering me to her shore,
where deep is the bend of her
over the winking sands of waters gone
and welcome, these lozenges of rain
that have begun to drop,
chipping the glass sea.