Those times taking the children to the shore
Vacationing from work
All the buildings in a city
And lack of horizons there.
Our lives were deep breaths on a strong pier.
We held that breath
Till the next year.
How you saved shells and placed them in tissue,
Only for us to discover them again in bleak November
Adding strength, to make it till the next summer.
In waves coming to shore
I watched you die many times
Until it became normal as morning coffee.
I watched you saving the shells
Filling a tissue with something other than tears.
I could not stop the fluid that sadness creates.
The kind of fluid splashing against a pier.
Those moments of a sound sucking the entire ocean
Back into the horizon,
And what swept through our lives.
Amusements and taffy shops on the boardwalk.
Flipping quarters to the children to use on the machines of lights,
While sunburned skin chilled us in those walks at night.
Waves kept coming, they always do.
Some bigger than others.
The morning coffee I made,
Rubbing my forehead
Above the cup’s aroma.
Is this the wave that will suck me into the horizon?
What’s left of the shoddy piers?
The machine lights long ago disappeared
Among blinding sparkles of upturned empty sand
Where only seagulls are left to circle and scream.
Another summer’s mirth returns
With human voices among the surf,
Blankets, towels, and chairs arrive
And applied coconut lotion mixes with the salt air.
We will always be there
Long after the taking of the piers,
You and your long flowing hair
Being tied above your shoulders,
Somewhere on the horizon
Even in bleak November
When tissues fill with something other than tears.