Sunday, August 30, 2015

Somewhere in Paris

Did we walk among them,
did we brush the corner of their blanket 
laid out against the sand 
covered with oil and books and cigarettes?

Did we capture him
in our sunset snaps
the panoramas
is he locked in place?

The sun went down, the light
like a blanket laid out against the dusk.
Who would not want to swim,
gold like a tiger rolling over their arms

Did we see them go,
treading through the surf,
laughing and splashing,
watching the moon rise?

As they stepped into the waves
the four of them under the orange sun
we debated the wine
and took more pictures of the dimming sky.

They did not suspect,
they laughed as they swam,
they called each other,
the sun flickered out.

When the ambulance came
and floodlit faces scanned the falling tide,
we ordered ile flottant,
and the kids asked the driver what was up.

He was not aware,
he has gone beyond
the helicopter
and the rescue boats.

We read the news online.
When he came out of the water it told
only what we all knew,
but it didn't say the obvious, that

somewhere in Paris
a woman knows what
it feels like to have
the son the sea loves

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sea Magic

The summer holidays are coming to a much faster end than expected...this summer simultaneously seems like it's been going on forever and that it's screaming to a premature end.

We are as usual in France, it's hot, the sea is warm and I'm working much less than usual - in fact shortly I won't be working at all.  Having spent the last 7 years working weekends and evenings and every single holiday I ever had I am burned out to the point that every time I see my doctor he asks me when I'm going to be getting some rest.  Now I have an answer for him - 26th September.  There will be job hunting but there will also be resting, retreating, relatives and I'm running out of appropriate words starting with 're'.

There are not many things more rejuvenating than going body boarding with an 8 year old boy, either.  The sheer joy of catching the same wave and being carried along until our knees hit the sand is not to be underestimated.  We've stopped lugging the mountain of paraphenalia which we used to bring to the sea - buckets and spades and nets and umbrellas and mats and balls and books... now it's just body-boards and beach blankets, because once we get into the water, that's pretty much it.

Even the Frog has been seen clutching a board and making an effort - which is great because leaving the boys together allows me to swim out beyond the surf, past the other swimmers to float and spin and dive and hang in the sea like a piece of ungainly seaweed.

Yesterday I clambered out of the water as the rising tide started lapping at the boulders of the sea wall.  I sat on a rock and watched as the sun begin to sink and the boy gambolled like a puppy, making signs and practising his sea magic.  The Frog joined me and we sat in silence as the sea rose over our feet and up to our possessions, then we collected the boy and waded back to the steps, salty and quiet.

This is where it starts.