soft jelly bodies litter the shore like hundreds of plastic bottles
electric pin spines prick at the touch
hidden beneath fleshy clear pockets of silicone
as unforgiving waves bring more obstacles to shore

mom always enjoyed a walk out to the jetty
where it stinks with rotting sea bodies,
prisons and pools of tide containing crustacean inhabitants

once she almost stepped on a shark’s tooth
ever since, my eyes roamed soft sand below
as old men with metal detectors do

this year, beams of sun shone through
thick cumulus clouds like whispers of heaven
on a forgotten melody

over the years, mom’s pace began to slow
nimble footsteps swallowed whole
inevitable like waves upon an apathetic shore

         nowadays she jokes she’ll soon be pushed in a wheelchair
         captive of her own body
         i tell her i still can’t swallow that, never will

if the moon commands the tides, who moves her?


there was a time where i dare venture into the sea
great big boogie board shackled to my wrist

searching, my pale feet roamed sea floor
as tides retreated in an army of waving blue-gray soldiers

brave toes dared to locate conchs, sand currency and sea stars

mom used to swim with us, too
when i was small i remember latching onto her arm,
too afraid to let my own feet touch hidden sea floor
for fear of jellies or sharks, stingrays or crabs, or fish seen on animal planet
she’d cradle me in her embrace, wipe away my salt water tears

back when i only dreaded my father’s raised voice
and foreboding ocean dangers
before disgnoses and baggage left unattended

now, we walk

we walk until i forget that one day she’ll cease
no more of her small footprints to be carried away by the ocean
until the only evidence of her is written on my heart
or enveloped in memory of her protecting me from creatures of the sea