But How Could We Forget?

But How Could We Forget?

First poem I wrote in my 2.0 poetry career (1.0 being in my teens), "But How Could We Forget?" was literarily written in an evening from what came out of seven prompts given that afternoon by Jane Wong in a workshop. The prompts led to this poem that deals with my father's death that was published by Windfall in the fall of 2016. I later robbed it to create the much shorter "Off Alki" that was selected to run on a Seattle bus in the Poetry on Buses contest. 


But How Could We Forget?

The sea arrives steeping in a white porcelain bowl.

Mussels, clams, cod.  A Dungeness crab claw

emerges from the tomato stew as if to say “I’m here.”


But how could we forget? Summer evenings

the sun still high in the periwinkle sky as you rowed out.

I’d lean over expectant as Christmas,

haul the crab pot up hand over hand

seaweed circling my wrists.

Your gloved hand would dig into the skittering evergreen mass

knowing their weight and sex by touch.


This summer, we dropped your pot into the Sound on the highest tide.

Watched the buoy marked by your hand sink into the black.

I returned every day by kayak, stirring the sun off the water

to peer for your name lost amongst the kelp, your ashes.


We walk the pebbled shore; crackle clamshells as the fog hovers

obscuring Blake Island and the Olympics beyond.

The dog you will never know pockets crab claws in his jaw

buries them amongst the garden riot of zinnias, dahlias, and nasturtiums.

Heidi Seaborn

The Square House--94 Shaker Road, Harvard, Massachusetts

The Square House--94 Shaker Road, Harvard, Massachusetts

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