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Charadrius melodus, piping plover. Plate 220 from John James Audubon's Birds of America, original double elephant folio (1834-35). 

1830s
On East Beach

 

I’m home. Watching the plover,
which is watching me.

Needle of the tide-line, tiny
plover, stitching the hem of waves
to damp sand. Choo-hoo, choo-hoo,
up-down, on the seam of the sea.

I’m home. Watching the plover,
which is watching me.

 

© Kelley Swain

Picture 10704685, illustration by John James Audubon, 1830s

 

Kelley Swain is a writer with an emphasis in the relationship of science, medicine and the arts. She is a contributor to The Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry, runs writing workshops for places such as The Poetry School, The Wellcome Reading Room, and Keats House, and is an Associate Editor for Valley Press. Kelley is the editor of The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules, and Pocket Horizon, and is author of poetry collections Darwin’s Microscope, Atlantic, and Opera di Cera, and the historical novel Double the Stars. Her memoir about working as an artists’ model, The Naked Muse, is out in 2016.