Poetry

Beach Memories

By: James Bates

The memories were flooding my mind,
Waves crashing on the beach,
Windswept sand blowing,
The last light of day receding,
Gulls calling along the shore,
And Dad with his speed graphic camera,
Taking photographs.
I was barely aware of him.
Instead, I looked out to sea,
Over the pacific to the horizon and beyond,
To the infinite possibilities awaiting a young man.
We were there, alone, not talking,
Me, looking at the world,
Dad, framing his shots.
And then…
And then it is gone.
I am back in the present,
Today, over fifty years later,
In the midst of the pandemic, mask on,
Spending time with my younger brother, recovery from surgery.
Then, a visit with my son and grandchildren, socially distant.
And, later, talking on the phone with a friend.
The omnipresent reality of today,
And all it entails,
All of the challenges.
But now it’s night, the day is over,
And I’m going back,
Just for a little while.
Back to that open stretch of beach,
Where gulls drifted on the breeze,
And I gathered sand dollars half hidden in the sand,
And where Dad and I set aside our differences,
And walked, and started talking, really talking.
The last time we were ever together,
The two of us,
As the sun sank into the sea,
And the stars came out,
And we kept walking and talking,
Not wanting the day to ever end.
And, after all these years,
It hasn’t.

Categories: Poetry

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