You won’t remember now being quite
so small, combing that long stretch of Carolina
sand for rocks, shells, anything shining,
the ocean insistently whispering its secret
language, untranslatable upon land.
Nor will you recall the wheels of your stroller
edging closer and closer to the waves,
so slowly that none of us took notice,
none but that stout Eastern European woman
in head scarf, waving her thick arms,
shouting in alarm, “The buggy! The buggy!”
For one flashing moment, my heart leapt
like a startled fish, believing she might actually
be right, that you might be spirited away
by the unforgiving Atlantic, back to Scotland
or Wales, the fabled white cliffs of Dover,
closer to your family’s ancestral home,
but further from the ones who love you here.
But, of course, you were right there
when we turned to look, your beach hat
shielding your eyes, your chubby legs
just beginning to learn what they’re for,
ready, soon enough, to carry you anywhere.
by Greg Watson
Editor’s Note: Every once in a while a poem reminds us of why life is worth living.