Explain to me how the sea
puts parentheses around the years
since my father held my waist.
We jumped the waves,
and he sang off key to me.
So much time has stacked up
but I walk along at low tide,
the water here dotted with bits of red seaweed,
feel only the water and the sand,
walk over shells of small crabs, or parts of their legs,
till the water laps up again and I see only
foam at the water’s edges.
Show me why the sea is so like
old words on the page,
why I can read and reread a poem
its meaning constant
text embedded deep in my neurons
though life whirls me
from single to married
childless to primagravida
to mother of two
to mother of two grown, off in the world.
Originally published in Poetry Pacific literary magazine