You have read the fine poetry of Danielle Cross here before (reserving judgment, Contributor Series 1: 9/11, 9-12). In case you haven’t visited her blog recently, take a minute to do so now and notice how great it looks with the new layout. This poem is set on a beach, but the mood is decidedly unsunny and the message has nothing to do with the weather. Danielle’s imagery is rich and she weaves these threads together into a tapestry to rival Penelope’s. Let’s hope she doesn’t decide to unstitch it at night because you’ll want to read it again tomorrow.
By Danielle Cross
She sat beside me
and watched me struggle
as I attempted to build
an empire from broken glass and tears
with retaining walls and a moat in defiance
of the tide.
it will never be strong enough she told me
but there is nothing more you can do
it will soon be gone and I knew that
she was right.
I wiped the sands
of make-believe from my eyes and cheeks
and we sat together and watched the ocean
swallow the kingdom, leaving only wet clumps
of a childhood dream, an illusion
at our feet.
follow me, she said, and I walked with her to the edge
of the water. We stood ankle deep in silt
and broken shells. We stood in the only silence
that can be known on the edge of the water,
the kind of silence where you know
you are not alone
and never can be. We stood together,
worlds apart for what only seemed to be
Gentle swells brought children dancing in the surf
singing and playing the games that children play,
unknowingly conjuring spirits and speaking truths
they have yet to learn
a pocket full
She smiled at me and took my hand in hers
and we splashed and stumbled in circles
once, twice, three times
and I knew it was time to let her go.
I turned away, holding in my hands the remnants
of her that had woven into my fingertips
and walked back up the sand
to my daughter, who was waiting for me
with the ocean in her bucket, waiting to build