Reality of a Child

I walk along the shoreline, feel the ocean’s gentle but sprite waves wash over your feet and inhale the smell of the salty water, hear gulls flying overhead.
The calm and peace feel eternal
My thoughts: susurrations relaxing in my mind, no fears, just calm.
As I move along, the fire red sun that melts into the ocean like warm butter mesmerizes me,
It pulls my heart closer towards the horizon
So I walk further and step deeper
Leaving the white foam and gentle splashes for the lethargic water that reaches my thighs.
Playfully clapping my palms on the surface I’m just a happy child
content with what appears so simple
When I scoop the salty water, the golden flitter swirls all around me then quickly settles.
While the heat from the sun and the languorous waves push me further again.
Sliding along the grainy floor, my feet meet the current and are carried with the faster pace.
Arm muscles paddle backward and digging heels don’t stop the momentum
I bob slowly, but not to a stop
The horizon looks so stretched,
a look at the beach a short distance behind me:
people starting to pack their belongings yelling, “Time to go home.”
The sky dark fuchsia and purple-I have a little more time to play
I buoy back and forth, left and right, jumping onto my back and floating
squirming around like a worm in a muddy puddle

Not paying attention to the tide, luring me out, closer and closer, deeper and deeper…
Jumping around and the pressure of water at my chest make me short of breath.
But a little jump and I can float enough to catch a little more air, paddle backward with heavy arms,
Very tired arms.
So quiet, no noise, a laid-back glance at the shore
The shore, so far.
Some confusion.
The last two specks, walking away.
A large dark cloud looming over the sand.
Two seagulls fighting over trash,
Scratching Pecking
A questioning glance back to the once bright sun
Very few thin, orange streaks trailing behind it
Disappearing, Leaving.
A startled jump puts me to my feet, No-my tiptoes.
I sputter and bob all the while the current pulls me back.
So I turn towards the shore,
How did it get so far away?
I tread one step and start to swim forward
The Ocean gives a Tug-I stop.
Breathing hard, I push to swim through the cold ocean,
But I don’t feel movement, I See water moving me
The Wrong way
I have No speed
Swimming Harder Frantic
No footing,
Just human muscles.

The Water Swallowing All Around Me,
Choking Scratching
Face forward, afraid to look back
Thinking “look for land, find the shore”
burning lungs


“Don’t look back, think forward”
I struggle with the Ocean
i struggle with Him.
“Don’t cry, your tears make more water
They give Him Power”

From the boardwalk on the shore there is a woman casually walking through the grey sand.
Searching the ground,
aware of nothing
apparently just looking for a book she had left behind.

i search for her as i strain closer to the shore.
The ocean loosens his grip,
The waves reverse their direction.
It’s easier to breathe “Almost there…!”

She sees her book, but not me, i’m too small
“But I’m almost there.”
She grabs the book and walks away-
I feel the tide recede, so I dig my feet into the ground.
Flailing my arms, clawing with my hands
The woman is gone and i can feel the water pulling me back.
My head is splitting and my body aches, thighs throbbing with pain
i want the dry land, “if she would just come back she could help me…”

Over the crushing and roaring sound of the water, I hear two voices:
“Come on, hurry up!” I see a couple with a beach blanket and a bag emerge from where the woman left.
They look around for more cans to recycle in their bag and find me instead.

They see Me.

And they yell to me,
“Don’t fight the current! Ride the wave, it’ll pull you through.”
I try to breathe and stand still, leaning back and feeling the sand dissolve under my feet.
Some one yells, “Jump when I say now…NOW!”
So I jump a desperate jump and the water swells around me
And carries me to the shore!
I feel my lead body move in slow motion to the shoreline.
We see the shoreline creep up to my feet,
The residue clings to my skin forever
But I step away from it.

I see the couple grab my towel and wrap it around me, feeling the easeful old man wrap the beach blanket around me so Snug.
It’s not a beach blanket, it’s a Comforter
So soft so dry it cushions my whole body
Walking away from the beach, I look back to where it started and think
“ Where is the warm red sun and the peaceful ocean?
Why did it hurt, why did the sun leave?”

I can still feel the salt on my skin, in my ears, in my head
Throughout my body.
IT will never leave-
The water the residue

So I will leave.

I leave the Ocean.ocean reality of a child

About the Author


From Bad Dirt during Winter's Bone and Saved by the Holy Spirit's Redeeming Grace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *