By Ron Bovasso. Artwork by Karen Bagnard
It was a flash of light that woke me,
Before the crash of noise.
It’s been some weeks without a storm.
In the morning I’ll call the boys.
Should be good to comb the beach,
A storm like this brings treasures.
And when a man gets to be our age,
It’s one of life’s great pleasures!
“Not today, we’re going away,”
The first guy let me know.
“Told the kids we’d watch their dog.”
The other couldn’t go.
So here I was, alone and walking,
The surf still large and loud.
The wind was stiff and from the north,
The sun behind a cloud.
Lots of stuff along the beach,
And also much debris.
I spotted something large ahead
And hurried up to see.
A pile of seaweed, or a tire?
The wind made sections blow.
Reminds me of that seal I found
Some fifty years ago.
It is a seal! I see the tail!
Or is it just my eyes?
Or the dreams of youth that linger still
And holdout such a prize?
The body seems sleek and I don’t see wounds
And seaweed covers its head.
I see it move and offer thanks.
I’m glad it isn’t dead.
I look around for other help.
There’s only sand and sky.
Some seaweed slides from off the head.
“Help me,” she says, and looks me in the eye.
I couldn’t speak, but stared at her,
Her face looked like a child.
Her arms and hands were oyster-white,
Her hair was knotted and wild.
I wrapped my jacket around her,
And carried her to the sea.
I walked into the surf a way,
And bent down on one knee.
She swam off rather quickly
And seemed to be okay.
I wonder, will the guys believe me
When I tell about my day?