Ankle-deep in saltwater, a man lifts a small
Child and places her on his hip. She points
Toward a wheeling gull, a boat with multi-
Colored sails heading toward the horizon.
She looks at him as if he knows the answer
To every question. Seagull, he tells her, and
Sailboat—his voice and hers mingling with
The wind. She may not remember this warm
And sunny day with her family at the beach,
Her mother waving from a lounge chair, her
Little brother months from being born. Her
bathing suit, with its pattern of baby ducks,
May be lost in a move, her bucket of shells
Long gone. What she will keep is how it felt
To swing through the air and land where she
Is now—how this was safety. This is love.
Posted by kind permission of the poet.
Photo by Frank McKenna.