Kate Marshall Flaherty

Designed by Megan Fildes

Sel” by Kate Marshall Flaherty
from the 2018 Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet

I would never scold an onion  for causing tears    
– Naomi Shihab Nye 


I learned
the salt content of tears
is the same as blood
and the sea—  

that lysosomes 
are healing enzymes,  

and sea salt 
has nourishing minerals.  

We are the same three-fourths water
as the earth.  

Grey Dead Sea salt is the same
as pinkish Himalayan;  

both, so far from home.  

Tears are the same saline
whether they fall to the ground 
or streak cheeks pressed close
in a refugee boat. They dissolve
the borders, or should.  

Let us not wait 
for another boy washed up on shore.  

Salt, enzyme, saline, suffering—
let fear dissolve 
into the pool that is us all.