Debris skirting breakers for miles –
tub ring murk, shells suckered
to trash and kelp like surf store
necklaces. Grand Bend backwash.
Scolded not to wade, children
wearing bucket hats fill cups
with mussel remains, raising
each lumpy haul to the sun,
the glint of marble shards.
Toss them back in with a plop.
By the docks, suburban fishermen
curse the clear water driving
walleyes deeper. Muttering
about the crowds, rip cording
their motor boats, spraying
white fans against the waves.
Under the pier, a teen wings in his drone
to film locals with paint scrapers
stripping shells from wooden legs.
They yell get lost. He calls back
it’s footage for a school project
on damage from invasive species.
David Barrick’s poetry appears in The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Event, Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, and other literary magazines. He teaches creative writing at Western University and is Co-Director of the Poetry London reading series. His first chapbook, Incubation Chamber, was published by Anstruther Press in 2019.
Watch Your Head is an online anthology of creative works devoted to the climate crisis and climate justice.
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