December 15, 2011 / Creative Writing
Chris Hoke learns something about receiving the Messiah from towering and tattooed Teddy, a former gang member in Skagit Valley, Washington.
May 4, 2015
for John, Katie, and Kelly
You do not have to walk miles of shoreline
or pick the tide’s fresh crush with foot and eye
to find it: a conch shell, pink-lipped
and rimed with salt.
It has long been inside of you, a whorl
waiting to be pressed to an ear. Listen—
do you hear the distant murmur
of the one who has emptied you?
Some days are filled with the whisperers of despair:
a shopping list tucked inside a pocket,
the shoe that gapes, stunned and footless,
from a closet floor, and in the bottom
of a drawer, a sweater, its akimbo arms
folded in a flat embrace.
This is how the world now speaks to you
but not forever. There will come a hush,
and you will remember that the conch
also waits to be filled with wind, for you
to press it to your lips and sound its trumpet.
And the world will hold its breath to listen.
Libby Swope Wiersema
Libby Swope Wiersema is a freelance writer and editor. She earned an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte. Her chapbook, “The Season of Terminal Cold,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. She lives in Florence, South Carolina, with her partner, Michele, and their grandson, Jordan.