There’s a boy at the water’s edge,
laughing and splashing, wet sand
smeared on his face, chest, arms
having the time of his life, no doubt-
is what we always used to say.
I want to tell him to keep it up,
don’t stop jumping into the waves,
swim under the water, stay here,
never leave and soak it all in.
You’ll look back on this as a man,
as a father and husband- you will
need this when you have a bad day,
a particular challenge, or hardship.
You’ll think about the smell of salt air,
the breeze in your face, the coolness of
the rising tide on your ankles and shins,
your eyes darting across the ocean floor.
as you point at minnows, sand crabs, shells.
These memories will keep you afloat
is what I want to shout, because I think
someone should explain this to all of you.
But the children of the beach wouldn’t listen.
So instead I just grin and nod. And the boy?
He runs away. I turn to look to the horizon,
the Atlantic, nothing has really changed
it’s the same view from forty years ago,only the children at the shoreline are new.