Amanda runs through the shallow waves
in her pink sun-suit and rubber boots,
yelps as she holds a crab,
its single pincher snapping.
Amanda grins and flashes the new front teeth
too big for the others; she sets the crab
down carefully among sea grasses,
the bud of its new pincher still safe to grow.
Amanda ignores the call from the shore
and the women from Vietnam bent-over
the tide flats placing crabs and clams
in plastic bags to sell.
Amanda smells like kelp in the sun.
Her hair damp, she licks salt from her lips,
squats in the shallows fingering the algae
and the roots of their hold-fast grabbing rocks.
The long blades of algae, brown, green, red,
bob on the waves with a strand of white
bleached out by age, sun, death.
Amanda stirs the sea lettuce.
She prods the starfish humped over a moonsnail,
its arms move slowly,
never tiring, never giving up.
Amanda stares at the abdomens of crabs
looking for the broadness of the female
hiding the ovaries. She misses
the red nipple of sea cucumber
wedged deep in the breakwater.
Amanda ignores her mother’s yell
from the shore, hands on hips,
“Lunch, Amanda, time to go,
right now, Amanda, time to go,