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Coast Line By Gunilla Theander Kester

It wears a colorful necklace

of hand-carved painted canoes. Twenty

men wrestle the gray sand to get a boat

to the turquoise sea. Boys stand in water,

shouting to each other, wet shirts clinging

to their backs. Pearly edges of waves

mirror their white smiles. A woman

carries peanuts and grilled corn

on a large tray balanced on her head.

She is humming and singing,

her calves lean and strong.

She thinks of tonight, the dark

room, her man smelling of salt,

the cloth by the door swelling

like a sail, gently sweeping the floor.

I will wear my red dress

and the wooden beads

that make no sound, a drop

of lime where he will find it.

GUNILLA THEANDER KESTER is the author of “Time of Sand & Teeth” (2009) and “Mysteries I-XXIII” (2011), both published by Finishing Line Press. She and writer Gary Earl Ross co-edited the “The Empty Chair” and “The Still Empty Chair,” two anthologies dedicated to the victims of Flight 3407, which crashed in Clarence Center in February 2009. An accomplished classical guitarist, she lives in Williamsville and teaches at the Amherst School of Music.