Today’s poem is supposed to be pastoral. Mine turned into an epiphany–perhaps poorly worded, maybe not conveying the full extent of my feelings, but it’s an attempt nonetheless. Also, I love the beach a lot. The end. 8 days left of the challenge!
is the word to use to describe as I pause outside myself
on Hunting Island, the North Beach.
the tide is out farther than my memory can recall and
it leaves remnants of the ocean in its wake.
children, dogs, older couples comb the sand,
inspecting what was living, what is still alive.
while we should smell death from the baking jellyfish,
the drying sand dollars, the waterlogged crustaceans,
the sea absorbs it, or perhaps it makes the smell new—
mixed with salt, fish and Coppertone.
seagulls alight and peck at hermit crabs.
dolphins and pelicans alike dive at fish along the waves.
humans collect shells,
they cast out lines and nets.
they build castles, dig moats—and watch them wash away.
Life, as we forget to see it,
in all of its cycles:
foul and wondrous,
superfluous and necessary,
impossible and real.
this is its own poetry.