She wanted that life, she thought,
After wading in the water up and down the beach
Her feet embedding in the moving sand.
The allure of the ocean beyond pulled her further out
To that pale white line at the edge
Of the blue-green horizon,
Until there was no place to stand,
only piled surf
And depths of a world she could not comprehend.
With remnants of foam,
The continuing washes of the waves
Moved her ashore in the sand
like a child’s tantrum from anger to tears,
Bits of seaweed in her hair,
and a breathless sobbing
that no mother can placate.
Walking on the sand
he noticed that
erosion plains occur
every so often,
as run-off from heavy rains
strip away layers and sculpt
the low-lying landscape.
It is only a lake
and not a great ocean.
It is a place where rivers and creeks collide.
Behind a manmade wall,
where ancestral lands
and cemeteries were slowly drowned,
the living and the dead
were displaced with equal sluggishness.
The basin slowly filled
to cover first the grasses,
then underbrush and the trees.
He never felt the desire
to trample a sand castle,
except this once.
The pond is full now,
overflowing from the weekend rain.
The wind is lapping
the water to the edge,
just under the honeysuckle.
There was a path and small landing there, not two days ago.
A place just near the waters edge, protected from the afternoon sun.
On other days, we’d stretch out and cast lines towards the center,
and let the bobbers sit.
I always wanted to pull the lines closer,
but you were content
to let it stay
subject to the breeze
and what lay just under the surface.
Let the fish come to you.
The bluegill always skirted the shore,
playfully darting up and back,
But you and I never fed them.
The wind in the brush reminds me
that the landing is now covered.
I’ll leave, but will return tomorrow.
Yet, even when the water recedes,
it will never be the same.
In that moment before grief
When you have a hold on something
-it could be anything-
or a sheet of paper,
You release your grip in an instant.
Time does not continue,
yet the object falls away.
Not like dropping a ball,
with a child’s anticipation of return.
Neither as with a moment of revelation,
or when gasps follow a feverish plea
It is different.
It is a moment we cannot predict,
unable to stage a photograph
of the way the touch vanishes
and grasp fails,
yet the burden of loss enfolds.