Conch Shell

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

on a beach in a distant land
holding my mother’s hand
I found a conch

perfectly whole
its smooth pink interior

Hold it to your ear
my mother said
You will hear the sea

so many years later
my mother long gone
the shell is with me still

its edges broken
the luminous recesses dulled
The ocean’s echo faded

But when I hold it to my ear
I can hear
The sound of my mother’s voice