The poems in Sea Nettles explore relationships between people of three generations as they evolve over decades. At the center of many of the poems is a transgender child. The child's stubborn, gritty insistence on being true to herself is revealed, as well as the mother's struggles to come to terms with her child's identity, and the grandfather's loving relationship with this child. Like so many of us, the speaker in these poems often attempts to take refuge in "Foolish wishes, passing thoughts, dreams abandoned..." but she can't avoid the sharp truths that come with complicated relationships. And whose relationships, if they are true, if they are deep, are ever free of complications?