Blog - Pearl Diving Poem



One day, when your string of pearls breaks, scattering

its wisdoms—not softly, over satin—but clattering

carelessly into the sink, shattering frail certainties


and rushing like rain down the hardwood stairs,

like hail stones pelting their turbulent truths

out the front door, you will stand on the threshold.


What will you do? Will you hand down

that strand that was handed to you?

Blistering heirlooms refusing to bloom!


You will never re-member that strand, exactly,

as each pearl lay lacing your neck, glinting

the light, and hinting at fractured futures,


into which you had no time to reflect. But lovers

could re-count for you that stale sequence

you could never admit ‘till it all fell apart. Lovers


who never tethered themselves to you, nor kept watch

as you dove deep for your own fresh pearls. Nor

took their turns diving, as pairs of pearl divers do,


measuring the length of a breath at that depth for the other,

then tugging the cord when it’s time to come up again,

and again. So now, un-adorned, un-encumbered,


in a post-storm swell, the present waits.

And you tread, cycling in stillness, tasting

a tiny grain of sand.

~Maureen P. Murphy