Kelp cast a surreal green glow on Bainbridge’s
beaches the spring Selma unearthed the
bottle sticking up through rocky sand.
Battered blue glass obscured the paper
cork-sealed and scrolled in a velvet band.
Shelved in the kitchen, the bottle
blended in a cobalt sea where Selma
stored its secrets among butterscotch and tea.
~A message from a princess banished to an isle alone~
~A message from a starving man about to eat his own~
Everything that Selma saw involved a tragedy,
some soul set float long ago for strangers’ eyes to see.
Although the bottle beckoned her, she swore to leave it be.
The message might contain a curse to anyone who read it
it’s better left upon the shelf where she could only dread it.
Then, on her 80th birthday,
Selma popped the cork.
She slid the scroll into her hands,
unrolled it and began,
Seize the moment
Seize the day
Lest worries take your life away