This blue marble

– and yet it spins

The Indian Ocean is swarming with flip-flops

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While combing a small stretch of Shimoni beach during International Coastal Cleanup Day, I picked up about two dozen strayed flip-flops, or pieces of plastic once pretending to be a flip-flop. Kenyans by the coast wear nothing but flip-flops, and if they can’t afford to buy some they make their own from rubber tire soles. A villager on Wasini island even makes his living from carving key fobs and jewelry out of colorful, abandoned flip-flop soles.

But oh! the woes when a flip-flop is lost overboard or gets sucked into the sand during a tidal wave washing seaward! What the sea takes, she makes her own. When we litter, she fights back. For now.

(Shimoni, Kenya; September 2013)

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