I didn’t know
the little bubbles and holes in the sand that
appeared as the waves pulled back
were tiny clams retreating deeper and
I didn’t know that
the purple-edged seashells found
sprinkled across the sand
were once used as currency.
“Wampum,” he said.
And when the seagulls were all standing on the beach,
facing the same direction,
alert, as if receiving a message,
he told me
they were facing the wind so it wouldn’t
mess up their feathers,
and they were just
waiting for food to fall to the ground.