Hugging The Shoreline

Paul Steffan Jones AKA
10/11/17 03:05:32PM
13 posts

A brother and sister

nine and five

a weekend or a holiday

they’re on a beach

he’s lanky

in trunks of nearly

no colour

she’s blonde

and more effervescent

they can’t swim

so they play in the certainty

of the shallows

laughing uncontrollably

at their repeated failure to retrieve

their inflatable ring

that the wind is blowing

towards the estuary

flip-flopping from their outstretched little hands

they’re focussed on that inexpensive circle

absorbed in their simple game

by being alive

and being allowed to be alive

in the outdoor world

their father appears suddenly


something of Sean Connery about him

but not thinking of entertainment

their mirth turning to foreboding and guilt

as they are told that they are

on the verge

of stepping into the drop

from the sea shore

into the deep swallowing mouth

of the river

the same waterway on whose banks

they were born

they watch the ring dance upstream

and out of their lives

as they begin to trudge behind the adult

to the safety

of the striped windbreak encampment

in the dunes

and the unshakeable embrace

of a family that mourns

each loss of possession

however paltry

however badly made

in their non-throwaway existence

the boy later hears tales of children

who had drowned near that spot

and that when the sea had finally

returned their defeated bodies

it was found that crabs had eaten away

their eyes

he grows taller and realises

how useful cunning is

however he does not learn to swim

and at times is ambivalent about

the possibility of submerging


during Happy Hour

he haunts the edges

of the bars of the swimming pools

of Mediterranean hotels

in the presence of the jelly bellies

tattooed backs

and canine voices

of those of his countrymen

who express a hatred

for everything

that lies beyond

their island

he still keeps a distance

maintaining a hard border

impervious to the ocean

that surrounds him

and that waits for him

patiently and timelessly

updated by @paul-steffan-jones2: 11/24/19 06:16:51PM