I wrote this a while back and don’t think I ever intended to post it anywhere. When I saw the picture below by the featured artist on dVerse, Walter Smith, I decided to dig it out, revise a little and give it a look. I guess it has been long enough. Thanks to Walter for the image and dVerse Poets for the prompt. Mom’s favorite place was the beach. *Note: it was left justified, but I could not get some formatting to work. So tried centering.*
Daybreak on the Beach
(Because it had to be written)
Sparse dune grass lines the path
bent by its eternal war with ocean winds;
swaying in the pre-dawn chill of late November,
indifferent to occasion or emotion
or the small troop it greeted that morning.
An irregular column forcing itself onto the beach,
all bundled, hunched over, pressing forward,
Resolutely assuming position among the dunes,
unflinching, turning to confront the sea
awaiting the signal to commence,
to fulfill a duty, honor a wish;
(no gasp, no joy, no relief; just confirmation)
All attention turns to the ignored burden,
and the one burdened by it,
now laid on the sand and reverently opened,
revealing, rather anticlimactically, the cause of the day,
expecting, needing, something grander, as would be appropriate,
not just a bag, with contents incomprehensible.
Unable to reconcile memory, personality, love
with these… Ashes.
Open now, exposed to the world,
the Burdened reaches in with gentle hand,
pauses with heavy sigh and grasps a handful.
(no words, no prayer; just a beginning of an end)
Moving slow, unsure of proper procedure,
then releasing skyward with a spasm
watching the path… expectantly…
waiting for a response, an embrace,
as the wind and sand take possession.
Mournfully repeating, each taking their turn,
tears and Ash mingling as is befitting.
Contents emptied, each pauses,
eyes down, or on the water, or examining the sunrise,
immersed in memory, trying to comprehend the event.
Finding no cause to linger,
knowing there is still a day to conquer,
the lightened troop reverses its course,
restoring their masks as they abandon the beach
to early walkers and sand castle builders
who know not upon what they trod,
or with what new material they build.