For Kate, a fellow jewel lover…
On the beach, I used to find bits of glass so soft and rounded I didn’t believe they were glass. They were jewels. The blue ones were rare and expensive sapphires. Clear ones were diamonds. Green were emeralds. Even the commonplace brown was amber. I collected each gem and put them in a glass jar. My winter treasures.
I didn’t know where these jewels came from. I wasn’t thinking of fisherman with their Pabst Blue Ribbon Beers or Molson Ales on the rolling seas. I couldn’t imagine that my precious sapphires came milk of magnesia bottles meant to settle a sea-sick stomach. I didn’t know how the ocean lurched and leaned and made bottles slips from wet hands, then tumbled the bits across the ocean floor, smoothing the sharp edges until they washed up on the beach and were buried in sand.
In the winter, I spread the treasure on my bed and put each of the gems in my mouth, one by one, so I can taste the salt and the sun and the ocean.