Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Anne

I imagine today just like yesterday—
I will spend the morning writing and then,
when the tide recedes, I’ll trip along drift lines
searching. Yesterday I found an entire sand dollar
and four amber sea agates. The day before—
a red plastic heart stuck in driftwood. But

Anne,     what I really want to find

is a buoy. A fine glass fishing buoy, like the one
you brought to our third-grade show-and-tell
in 1982. A perfect glass bauble, wrapped in brown
hemp. Mint green, cerulean, sparkling, and you,
Anne, gleaming, cradling the globe, in small,
flawless hands. You illumed, Anne, in front of the class,
teaching us what your Grandma taught you
about glassblowing and fishing nets and the tide
that carried that buoy all the way from Japan
to the Oregon Coast, so far from our landlocked
Colorado town, so far from anywhere
our imaginations had yet taken us. Even those of us
in the back row could see. Anne,
tall and gangly, shy and anxious, you traveled
to the sea and brought back a flawless
glass buoy. Even those who teased you hardest
felt the weight of envy. “Be careful,”

you begged us, hinting finally toward fragility, rarity.

Yet these years later I am still searching the wrack
lines, my hands begging back that unbroken
weight, as if by finding my own buoy I might know something
about…     Anne,

please forgive me, I held on too loose—
what do ten-year-old hands know of mortality or the way
lives can be shattered on coasts? What
does this forty-nine-year-old heart understand
about the mechanics of staying afloat, of netting a life
and not letting go?

Credit


Copyright © 2021 by CMarie Fuhrman. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 16, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“I struggled for years to understand and make peace with Anne’s suicide. We grew up together, neighbors. I remember Anne on the school bus every morning, crouched in her seat, alone, staring out the window. Even that young I must have known shame in not reaching out. The third-grade day in the poem has never left me. Anne was vibrant and proud. The glass buoy was my way into the poem and back to Anne, to how tightly she clung to it and her eventual letting go.”
CMarie Fuhrman

Author


CMarie Fuhrman

CMarie Fuhrman serves as the 2021-2023 Writer in Residence for the state of Idaho, where she lives.

Date Published: 2021-11-16

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/anne