Slayer of Clams

I taught my daughter how to hunt clams this summer. She now knows the bear foot feel for the right mix of mud and sand. She is aware of the eel grass and how close the clams like to hide to it. When the blue claws drift near, she watches them. I taught her to snatch a crab from the back, yank it from the bay and laugh in it's face - claws pinching air, don't care. She is the echo of the Patchogue water tribe – gone now, they are the friends who taught us what to eat. If the world ends, old times resume, others will eat deer on good days, crow on bad. She will eat seafood every day. Those were my thoughts as I raised the sail on my boat and headed downwind for home. The Southwester pushed us off the flats and Fire Island dimmed with the sunset behind us. Steam and better for the clams, black cherry soda for belly wash. My girl is now a slayer of clams, like her ancestors – minus the soda. Next summer, there will be food.