The Skylark Prize
Spring 2010
Victoria Sharpe

Letter to Gloria

When you began losing your sight,
the doctors gave you bottles of pale-moon
pills and said to take one every day.

They never said it would be permanent.
I hated the way your cane leaned
against your chair like a promise,
how your grey eyes stared at things

you could not see. We sat on the beach
mid-summer, and I brought you seashells
to turn in your hands. You memorized
hundreds of thousands of ridges and told me

about beginnings, how everything comes
from the same matter. Our skin like the skin
of sea stars, our eyes like the eyes of moon snails.
Only particles stuck together. But Gloria, we are more

than what we are make of. Press the skeletons
of bivalves to your ears and listen
to their hollow breathing, the echoing
of everything you never saw.
©2010 Victoria Sharpe