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sea-greens shilly

in the barter of tide


one tiny eel flips

the letter “c” in a child’s palm


logs loosened by storms,

freed from rafts, afloat


beach asparagus, bull kelp, ficus

rockweed, black ribbon, sea-lettuce


once-coiled rope segmented

for crab pots, anchor lines, buoys


bottle caps, hermit crabs

scuttling from upturned rocks


pottery shards, beached sea-glass,

marbles:  jagged, worn smooth, pitted

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broken toys, corroded pennies, lost keys –

no Japanese floats


8,000-year-old petroglyphs, sharp rock, stones

for curve and skip:  stacked, grained, metamorphic


stone steps, one upon another, pathways

to and from the shallows of tears


deadheads chainsawed, cut, split,

stacked for firewood


a rusted tangle of bicycles, crippled

chains, reflectors fragmented


board swing droops

from a spruce branch


Mother crying cross-

legged on a mattress hauled

to a sea-facing window

KERSTEN CHRISTIANSON is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry through the Low-Residency Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2016. Her recent work has appeared in Cirque, Tidal Echoes, Fredericksburg Literary & Art Review, Inklette, On the Rusk, We’Moon, Sheila-Na-Gig and Pure Slush. Kersten co-edits the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon Territory, she lives in Sitka, Alaska with her husband and photographer Bruce Christianson, and daughter Rie.