A Shell That Sang

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Cummings And just because I can, I unleash before you a beach poem by e. e. cummings, one that has stayed with me over the years. It lives in my inner ear, has stayed there for so long its rhythmic flow has become an underlying heart beat.

“maggy and milly and molly and may”
e. e. cummings

maggy and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

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