The night surf’s whoosh and rumble
Gives way to dawn.
Pelicans glide in line,
Skirt the crests,
Thread through spray, and wheel.
Way out there, the gray surface
Explodes in a flash of foam
Grandson and pal
Lie inert in the sand
Fourteen hours now,
Growing cells, storing fuel
For the day’s unceasing patter–
Nearing boyhood’s end.
He turned fifteen two days ago
Weeping in the station house,
Caught stealing once again
From those who raised him
To whom he’s offered much occasion
For exercise of generosity.
But on this camping trip
To a place I’ve longed for
To return ten years,
He gave some sweeter recompense:
“Grandpa, we’ll run back down the beach
And carry your pack with ours.”
“We’ll pitch your tent.”
“This food tastes great.”
I stand at the edge of the sea
And watch each wave take form and break,
There a million microseconds
Grinding mountains into dust.
I feel my shrunken spine, my eyelids’ droop.
Behind me on the beach, I hear a laugh
And turn toward arms and fingers
Stretching in the sun.