From what tacky tourist trap did it come,
that keepsake, that ocean’s arrowhead?
I think my grandparents brought it back
from their one & only Carribean cruise.
It rode around in my pocket for a while,
a talisman luckier than a rabbit’s foot
or a saint’s ear. It was not much bigger
than a mole’s snout, but sharp, so sharp.
I imagined serried ranks, sierras,
& the circling fin, evil twin of the sail.
It was—I recall—a kind of off-brown,
the color of moldy leather or dried blood,
but shiny enough to serve as a mirror
for something not quite my reflection
but sharper than a shadow.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Ab Ovo
- The Origin of the Exclamation Mark
- Shark’s Tooth
- Book Match
- Toenail Paring
- That Button
- Sugar Pill
- Peach Pit
- Bullet Casing
- Indicator Light
- Salt Crystals
- Asterisk (videopoem)
- Fish Hook
- Oak Apple Gall
- A Thumbnail Taxonomy of Rivets
- Baby Carrots
- Computer Chip
4 Replies to “Shark’s Tooth”
“Shark’s Tooth” immediately brought to mind Conn and Hal Iggulden’s “The Dangerous Book for Boys” and also memories of my brothers and I exploring cow pastures and aligator-infested ponds and swinging on Tarzan vines when we were kids in central Florida. A talisman in one’s pocket can feel like the North star when you’re a kid.
Yes, well put. Haven’t read that book, but your childhood doesn’t sound too different from mine (except for the alligator part).
Good poem, Dave! I like how you bracketed the reminiscing body of the poem with two solid and evocative images.
Thanks, Larry! Glad that worked for you.