Size / / /

Seeking light,

She struggles

With great effort from the water.

Seeking warmth,

She scrabbles forward,

Searching for dry sand.

Her claws leave deep, wet scores

In the cold, black muck at water's edge,

But don't catch well

In the softer stuff

Just a few lengths farther inland.

Pale grey, this sand

Is polished to silken

Fineness by the wear of ages.

It holds the heat she's searching for,

Even now, long past sunset.

One of the last of her kind,

She does not know it;

She'd strive as strongly

If she shouldered through a crowd

Of a hundred of her sisters.

Guided by the pull of instinct

She knows only temperature;

She seeks the perfect weight and warmth

Of sand to cradle her last egg.

She finds the place just as the moon's

Face lifts over the sea's horizon.

A perfect hollow in gull-grey sand

Waits as if for her alone.

She nestles in it, closes her eyes,

Waits as the night breeze chills her back,

Her own scales quicksilver in the light

Of a spring full moon, a light to spawn by.

And when the egg is laid she turns away.

She kicks a drift of soft, fine sand

Into the hollow with careful purpose.

The moon lights a path for her across the beach,

But she knows the way back to the sea,

Just as the hatchling will know his way

Back to Atlantis when the sun spills gold

Over his first morning.




Robin M. Mayhall writes business articles and promotional copy by day and speculative fiction and poetry in her spare time. She lives in Baton Rouge, La., with four cats who indulge her hobby with only occasional attempts to sit on her laptop's keyboard. This is her first poetry sale. You can reach her by email at robin@hieran.com.
Current Issue
12 Apr 2021

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Podcast read by: Morgan L. Ventura
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Morgan L. Ventura's “Dispatch from a Ruin in Mitla, the Town of Souls,” with a reading by the poet.
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