Landlocked in Kentucky, I looked forward to summer visits home to Cape Cod.
Pop and I would walk the sandy trails, play chess, and enjoy their garden  
but each year my mother grew more fretful if I strayed from her side.

Near the end of one summer, while preparing polenta and roasted vegetables,
I hatched a plan. I charmed Mom into allowing me to bring our neighbor Helen a plate.
After slipping a bathing suit on under my clothes, I let Helen in on my ruse and ran to the beach.

A decade later, I remember how the salty water held me up in the bright midday sun,
my body floating on the shimmering waves, the tide rocking me back and forth,

how on my last trip to the ocean, I felt weightless.