Black neoprene
Clear sea afternoon
Waves of cold stinging needles
Crash against fake seals
Armed like the devil
Gleaming steel tridents
Jabbing sand.

Living seashells
Pulled out of their homes
Squeezing shut and spitting water
Measured with iron gage
Dropped with its fellows
In a burlap sack
Of clam doom.

“This one’s too small,”
Thus spoke my father
Who pulls out a wicked knife
And bottle of hot sauce
A natural law
Eat or be eaten
Goodbye clam.


7 thoughts on “Clams

  1. Do you still have that picture I took of you and your dad at Pismo Beach (or was it Avila or Arroyo Grande. I can’t remember)?  You guys looked like the Assault Force for King Neptune with your tridents/er, pitch forks.

  2. Mmmmmm. Was reminded of something my Portuguese grandmother once told me, about meeting my grandfather at the cannery for lunch many years ago with a bag of fresh clams and two cold cans of beer.

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