I picked up shells with ruby lips
That spoke in whispers of the sea,
Upon a time, and watched the ships,
On white wings, sail away to sea.
The ships I saw go out that day
Live misty—dim in memory;
But still I hear, from far away,
The blue waves breaking ceaselessly.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 12, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.