Poetry
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Shells
There was a shell
Which had been polished, shellacked and well cared for by the owner.
It was even decorated with fineness so as to mask the inner chambers.
The inner chambers were secret.
They held lies.
And they held truths.
The owner could not tell the difference.
So the chambers, as they were filled, were sealed as treasure.
The owner lived alone in the shell,
And curled with the treasure and slept
And was lonely.
The pain of the lonely kingdom caused the owner to seek companionship.
But the owner feared that the treasure would be stolen
So a way was found to look for others and still remain in the shell.
A tiny door was left partially open so the owner could look without
but not leave from within.
The owner waited for others to pass by.
And the owner was still lonely.
A man came to the door.
He claimed to know treasures.
The owner wished to show his treasures to the man, for value had been  assigned to each.
And the owner wished praise for their fineness.
But, being skeptical, the owner decided to show the man only minor treasures,
lest they be stolen.
The man entered the outer chamber.
The owner listened as the man sorted through the treasures exclaiming
their fineness.
But the man ignored and devalued some of the treasures.
The owner was shaken.
Then the owner saw.
And understood.
The man went away and the owner polished his real treasure in the  outer chamber and threw away those of no value.
The owner thought about other chambers.
A door was opened and the owner sorted some treasures, polishing  and throwing away.
And the owner was joyful and delighted.
But the owner became confused and could not sort anymore.
And felt pain and loneliness.
The man knocked on the door and was invited in to help.
Patiently, the man taught the owner to sort other treasures.
The owner saw.
And understood.
The man left.
The owner sorted treasures exhaustingly.
And felt greater joy and delight.
Then the owner became confused again and painfully lonely.
The man came to the door and was invited back to stay.
Patiently, the man taught the owner to sort other treasures.
The owner saw.
And understood.
The man left.
The owner sorted treasures finding joy and delight but was painfully
lonely for the man.
The man came to the door and was invited again to stay.
Patiently, the man taught the owner to sort through the treasures.
The owner saw.
And understood.
The man left.
Tearful and distraught, the owner sorted treasures.
Then the owner looked around.
The treasures the owner had now were truly treasures.
The owner knew the difference.
And the owner knew how to sort the treasures.
The owner felt joy and delight but also felt painfully lonely for the man.
The owner waited for the man to come.
The man did not come.
The owner opened the tiny door wider to look for the man.
The man did not come.
The owner stepped outside to look for the man
And stood up straight for the first time.
And the owner was amazed.
Before the owner were shells.
Thousands and thousands of shells.
Colors, brilliance, jewels, reflections.
The owner walked among the shells.
One had a tiny door partially open.
The owner talked to the owner of the shell.
The owner told the shell person he knew how to sort treasures.
The owner was invited into the outer chamber, skeptically.
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As the owner began to step through the tiny door, the owner felt
a need to look left.
There was the man.
He was smiling.
The owner felt joy, delight, pain and love.
And the owner was alone but not lonely.
And continued through the door.
by Kathryn