Sands Through the Hour Glass

I remember taking my oldest daughter
to the beach,
slathering her in sunscreen
and securing the frilly, floppy hat
over her red curls.
The rest of the day was spent
walking behind her, picking up the hat
and replacing it on her head.
Worst sunburn I’ve ever had.

I remember my toddler son chasing seagulls
across the sand,
arms outstretched, Gilligan hat on his head,
always on his tiptoes,
heals never touching the sand.
He would turn back to look at us,
point at the skittering birds
and laugh as a carefree child
ought to laugh.

I remember my youngest daughter’s
first time at the beach, still too young to walk.
We would hold her by her hands
and lower her to the sand,
the lower she got the higher she would raise
her feet.
Not once did she touch sand without crying,
perfectly content to explore
to the edge of the blanket,
and no further.

Somehow, I thought they would always
be that age,
but I do often wonder,
whether it is they,
or I,
who I have allowed
to get so old.


for Margo’s image prompt



Filed under Poetry

10 responses to “Sands Through the Hour Glass

  1. “Somehow, I thought they would always
    be that age”
    — I guess we need that illusion to keep going. But when reality hits, it hits hard..

  2. Ah, this is lovely, each child distinct from the other, each vivid. Then you hit us with the end. Not a parent reading this doesn’t understand. I don’t think we ever do see our children as completely not children. I remember once we were visiting my grandmother and getting ready to go to the zoo. She turned to my mom and said, ‘Peg, do you have your sweater? It might be chilly out.’ Mom was in her forties.

  3. Oh, yes, completely relatable. I hope you share it with your kids. They will love it.

  4. I love the toddler seagull moment – my boys love/loved to do that, too!!

  5. Mark, your memories make a sublime poem. I had to look up Gilligan hat! and discovered what is known in our family as “flope hat” – small son was asked to write the shopping list, and that was how he spelled floppy!
    My son is 53 today, and my daughter 52 just after Christmas, which chimes with your question!

  6. It’s wonderful! Perhaps all parents think in this way…these are eternal words … 🙂

  7. This is completely heartwarming and totally relatable. Wonderful.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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