Michael T. Young: “Inheritance”


The lichen leathered rocks
of the jetty
sizzle in a lather
of seafoam and spindrift.
Their creases glisten
like fresh coffee
stirred by imagination’s surge
pelting the boundaries.
Gulls on their flat tops
sleep or clean their feathers
in the salt air,
pluck the dull fringes,
while gems smash
and shatter over the edge
of towers gripped
against the constant crashing.
Standing in the sand
nearby, our feet sink
into the frolic and rage
of change, bedded
with clamshells and seaweed,
hermit crabs and jellyfish,
these jewels
dropped from the pockets
of travelers, this inheritance
scattered at the feet
of sandpipers and plovers
who frantically probe
the shoreline
to retrieve something of it
from the thieving waves.

Michael T. Young’s third full-length collection, The Infinite Doctrine of Water, was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award. His previous collections are The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost and Transcriptions of Daylight. He received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His chapbook, Living in the Counterpoint, received the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. His poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. It has also appeared in numerous journals, including Cimarron Review, Gargoyle Magazine, One, and Rattle.

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