Walking Along the Seashore Without My Mother

Image credit; Michiko Chiyoda
The old negative of her  
with her hair pinned back
I hold up to the horizon and
see it fade into the waves.
It was the one taken
through the filtered
window of her black car,
her face half in night
and half in day.
Behind, I hear the echo
of the sand cave.
In front, the roar
of swirl and foam
claiming her
the sun and sea’s
possession.
Her last letter to me
floats free from
my back pocket.
Her gentle
pictogram writing
reverses over and over
with that shadow caricature
she drew of me months back-
the last animated flash
until there’s
nothing
left of her
but
the small
light
inside.