Wednesday, July 31, 2013

summer sentence

it is on the third day
that the words come back,
letters long absent 
from your page, 
but as you figure out how
not to spill the water
as you pour it into the 
rented kitchen's coffeepot,
there they are, 
stretching ahead of you 
like line to a new boat, 
and you grab hold 
of that line
and hold on
because you know 
what's coming
finally coming,
so you think twice
about the pink sunrise
you saw just a bit
ago
as you scramble the eggs
and scratch the grandog's nose
butter your toast
and serve up breakfast 
for your kids who 
are almost never 
under the same roof
anymore,
and you think 
some more
as you
butter yourself up 
for a stretch out
in front of the ocean, 
when you
will crack open 
that new book
because you've already
read two 
in the past days 
as you listened 
to the ocean
talk to you 
for the first time 
in many, many months,
you catch yourself thinking again
that you are
relieved 
that the first book
is done because 
you feared
so for the woman
and the boy
in that story,
and you found yourself
weeping at the end 
of the second one
because you could
imagine how the man
and his wife, and 
the girl 
all felt 
at the end of that one,
and yes, 
you think still more
as you listen 
to the churning
of that blue ocean
and watch
the pink-tutued baby
next door dabble
in the saltwater puddle
at her feet
and remember when
the daughter sitting 
by you
with a book 
in her hand
was just that size,
doing just that thing,
dabbling, 
trying to carry 
a small bit of wave
in her tiny hands,
when you first brought
her to this beach...
so you take 
a short walk
in and out
of other people's vision,
those
lining to beach
propped under
a kaleidoscope
of umbrellas
watching
the gulls, 
the tattooed girls, 
lanky boys
skimming
the surf 
with their boards
and you wonder how they
can keep from
falling, 
and you peer to see
what other folks are reading
on iPads and phones and
in actual books,
like the weathered woman
sitting where the seafoam 
laps at her feet
who is in the final pages
of a good book about dogs,
so you walk on
and find yourself beneath
the pier, 
and at once you recall
your grandfather's
knotty fingers
cutting blood worms
with an old knife
on the splintered pier bench
then plying 
the bloody bits 
onto a hook 
for you to cast
over the side,
and you think 
how many times you 
watched the water
and felt the tug
not knowing whether it
was fish 
or foam
but you pulled it in 
surprised
at seaweed 
or silver fish
biting,
and as you think 
of those times 
all those years ago
you remember
your father's thin
tanned fingers as he 
stood on the pier
and slid his serrated
scaler on the surface
of the fish, 
the fingers of his other hand
holding tightly to the 
surprised
mouth and fins 
of the spot
or bream
as scales flew 
in every direction,
and you think of that summer
when he grew a beard
and you didn't like
that at all
or how that year,
the beach didn't 
seem to soothe him
like it always did,
and on your way back
you look out over 
the sea and the foam
and think of 
how many times 
you walked this beach
with your dad
and how this
is your first
time, really,
without him 
being here for
even a day or two, 
when you are
and there you
are, making new
prints in the 
moist sand
without him
by your side,
and as you make your way
back you 
wonder who
that girl was
so long ago who
wrote a story
about this place
that her daddy 
loved so, so much,
then you spy your children
sitting there
by the sea, 
your son's fresh beard
irritating you
just about as much
as your daddy's did, 
and you
think how
many more stories
there will be
to tell of this place
even though 
daddy can't
sink his 
narrow
toes 
in this 
sand 
anymore.



as writemuch.blogspot is the original work of author susan byrum rountree. all written work and photography is copyright protected and can only be used with written permission of the author.