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May I keep it?” she asks,
brown eyes pleading,
plump fingers clutching
one hard lump, the last
ashen remain of her older brother
now scattered from ‘his’ rock
at ocean’s edge; her heart

hungering for comfort
in the face of this finality,
the familiar disintegrated
and dispersed; her innocence
seeking solace in our seaside custom
to collect, to keep and not
let go.


Sarah W. Bartlett operates Women Writing for (a) Change – Vermont, an independent creative writing program for adult and young women for whom writing is an important vehicle for personal, spiritual or social growth and change. She herself is an inveterate wordsmith. When not volunteering in the community or enjoying her three adult children, Sarah enjoys dabbling in watercolor, mountain streams, cookie dough or seaside sand.

© 2010, Sarah Bartlett

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