Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Empty Beach (Day 454)

You could sling a stone from the ranch 
and it would land in the sea, plunking,
tumbling to the bottom: a submarine 
garden of undulating anemones, 
slumbering in the sway 
of the afternoon tide,
where swift-gliding fish 
flashed silver in shafts of sunshine 
or in sweeping beams 
from the lighthouse late at night

You could sling a stone from the ranch 
and hit the sea—it was that close—
but why would we have 
done such a thing, when we could 
clamber down the cliffs, run 
the length of the empty beach, 
hide in the flat-bottomed cave, 
only to wander home hours later, 
taking pocketsful of fossilized mollusks, 
in exchange for the echoes of our voices, 
and two trails of fugitive footprints.



(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Image: Wendy Seltzer/Wikimedia Commons