Toil of Low Tide

Seaweed farmers emerge

when the ocean drinks

the tide out.

Sandbanks arch

like spines

into the air

and crawling sea urchins

let the sun

crack the spiny shells hording

their orange little hearts.

Damselfish take refuge

under squatting brain coral,

but the sea snake, striped

like a monochrome peppermint,

slinks

beneath the whisper of shallow waves unmolested.

It’s the seaweed farmers

who understand this place,

who tie scarves neatly around their heads

and go barefoot

out into the baking hours,

bent among

the turquoise waters lapping

at the calluses

on their hands and heels

In silence,

when the tide returns,

so do they, their buckets full

seaweed farmer
photo credited to Christina Kang
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