In memoriam: Clementa Pinckney and eight others murdered at Mother Emanuel

It’s only here where I’ve seen the surf

crimping into ruffled-up petticoats,

the edges of olive and indigo skirts

of wave, of glance, of flirt, of buff—

Rococo cream frame for the rough

tide, garlands of pale green that meet

and cross in a pattern of fishnet

on Folly Beach. It was almost off-

season when we sat in deck chairs at sunset

across the bridge from the Charleston church

where a prayer meeting was going on,

and two years later we are here again

when I notice how the waves thin out

like wedding-dress hems on the beach,

crossing in patterns like fish scales,

a cursive repetition of human ills.

Matthew Krajniak
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