The waves call you out with each wall
of white bubbles that reaches up the beach to meet you--
the sun promises to warm your cheeks
even as the wind whips your locks to and fro.
So out you go in the morning mist, into the gray air
folowing a trail of seagull steps and paw prints.
The water comes up and runs high on your boots,
sinking into your feet a coldness it has carried for many miles,
from ancient years.

This sea is as old as the earth itself,
older than you feel when life rushes high
and leaves you standing in its cold.

A rock comes up near your feet, nudged closer
each time an arm of water gives it some encouragement.
It travels up and up the shore,
then settles deep into the sand
moving whenever the water wills
and staying wherever the sand catches it.

You turn your back on the water
as if to go someplace you like to call “home”,
but then the wind catches you from behind.
Your feet ask you to stay a little longer,
invited by a soft spot in the shore.
The air presses its palm into that low place on your back.

With the rhythm of an ancient ocean behind you
a wind that has come so far and so fast to meet you
and a firm sandy floor beneath you,

you let yourself lean
let yourself rest
and finally


you let yourself be held.