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The Stone Shells

By John I. Blair

Stone shells without a seashore
Say more about the world
Than most are ready for.
Here on the Texas plains,
Four hundred miles from any ocean,
I pick them up on roadsides
Or pry them out of limey layers.

More million years ago
Than I can neatly number
The mollusks
These were molded from
Lived out shirtless lives
On sunbaked beaches
No surfer ever jogged along.

Just to meditate
The meaning of these fossils
Leaves me more than meek,
Makes me feel inconsequential,
Until I also ponder
We are the first on Earth
To declare these feelings.

2003 John I. Blair


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