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"Tide Blossoms"

Duane Niatum
Klallam Tribe, Native American, poet

She and I alone step down the shore.
I hold her close because she's a daughter of the sea.
We watch boats cross the jetty's corridor.

The autumn storm strikes our bodies with its lore
as the voices of the wind we hear and seek.
She and I alone step down the shore.

The clouds that spark return the blue to force;
the rain drowns out the breakers ebbing reefs.
We watch boats cross the jetty's corridor.

Sun-buoyed, kelp and cod drift along the shoal;
the terns dip green, turn shadow and are free.
She and I alone step down the shore.

Like a forest flower this beach leaves us transformed;
salt and sun and moon compose our dream.
We watch boats cross the jetty's corridor.

When amber waves carve oysters to the core
a sandpiper darts over its slanting ground of peace.
She and I alone step down the shore.
We watch boats cross the jetty's corridor.

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Duane Niatum (Seattle) has published six poetry books, including The Crooked Beak of Love and was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. He's is an enrolled member of the Klallam Tribe (Jamestown Band). His writing is grounded in the Pacific Northwest landscape an its creatures, birds, animals, and plants, along with Klallam stories and characters. He earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Michigan.

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