The Last Word — “Sea Mourning” by Shelley Little

Photo courtesy of Bachtlar Rahady, Flickr creative commons:
Photo courtesy of Bachtlar Rahady, Flickr creative commons:

Our April contributor to The Last Word was Shelley Little, with her poem “Sea Mourning”—




Sea Mourning
(Previously published in The Centrifugal Eye)

I was born and raised with ocean forces at my feet
Full moon horizons propelled
me off Canadian cliffs into skinny dip waters

I would whip down
my tidal wave slide of youth
and wash onto sandy shore
With a soul made of sea
Eyes salt-sealed
I would jump back into the next wave
Confident that water
would always be there to catch me
Never knowing what lay
below the surface

Now my sea cliff is as flattened
as the Iowa corn crops I face
Suffering from sea sickness
I walk unsteady on this land
My eyes drown
in a torrential rain of tears
making this city float
on a coast of farm fields
Waves of metropolis
seem set to hammer
the next harvest swell

I watch my children surge
down their plastic Slip N Slide
Decayed corn stifled
beneath that synthetic sheet
As they splash into a future
flooded by suburbia
Born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada, Shelley and her family landed in Iowa over eight years ago. Shelley is a full-time writer whose articles, poems and short stories have appeared in The Quad City Times, The Bettendorf News, The Centrifugal Eye, Shemom and Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine. One of her most recent short stories, Clear-Cut, won first place in the Midwest Iron Pen competition, and her poem, Remains of a Life, received honorable mention in the Bettendorf Love Poetry contest.  When she is not at her computer typing (with two toy poodles at her feet), she is knitting, crocheting or re-decorating her home for the thousandth time.

The Last Word is open to submissions (MWC members get first priority). To submit, please send one poem (no longer than 30 lines; other formatting considerations, such as line length, should also be taken into account) or one work of short prose (fiction/non-fiction, 500 words max) in a MS Word file (.doc, .docx, .rtf) to, and include the phrase “The Last Word Submission” in the subject line. Please also include a brief bio (50 words max). Selections will be made each month by MWC staff and guest editors.