Friday, March 5, 2010


Don't forget my contest ends tonight at 6:00 EST. So if you've been procrastinating, you're running out of time to get your entries in. I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow. And since we're here at the end of another week, I'm leaving you with a snippet that just kinda makes me feel good. Enjoy and have a good weekend.

Reeds sway, silent sentinels chasing shadows. A night heron crows as it takes flight. The call of a willet pierces the early morning stillness, and he catches the black and white pattern of a flashing wing as it comes in for a landing.

His hand finds hers. Long, cool fingers wrap his as she leans in, strong and solid beside him, fused shoulder to hip.

The whisper of bare feet is lost here to the sounds of the shore; the soft rustle of grass, the screams of gulls swooping low, the gentle slap of waves coming home.

Sand is implacable here. It blows and shifts, changing boundaries and erasing everything.

He can almost forget there’s a world up the bluff on the other side of the highway.

They crest the dune together, in lockstep, the way they do everything, and stop and stare.

Shards of brilliant gold explode on the horizon; the first orange-red brush strokes of a rising sun painting a lightening blue-black sky.

The breeze shifts; picks up; sea and salt and sun; time and tide. It’s all right here, right now as the world transitions into life and light.

He slips in behind her; slides his arms around her, pulls her back tight against him, hands gentle as they glide along the curve of her belly.

A small shiver runs through her and into him as she leans back, quiet and still in his arms, hands covering his.

He buries his face in her hair; breathes her in deep, feels the band around his chest loosen as he exhales softly in her ear. “High tide.”

She hums in response, stretches out an elegant arm; pulls his focus out as she points down the beach. It’s colder here now; his arms wrap her tighter and he rests his cheek on her hair as clear, hollow eyes track his sisters across the sand, onto the pier.

All his senses push; salt air and sea breeze and the sun climbing high on the horizon converge and he blinks hard against the sudden sting in his eyes.

Through crystal tears he sees they’ve reached the end of their journey; stand suspended statue-still between sea and sky and sand; the illusion of solid ground.

He wonders if they’re crying as their arms stretch out in unison over crystal-clear blue water.

Her voice is soft and low as she shifts against him. “Your mother, too?”

“Dad kept her ashes.” Possessive hands roam over her belly; his eyes drift shut as he feels his child kick. “He wanted this.”

He wants to move, can almost feel himself step; feels sick as he wonders what it would be like to be standing there next to them.

She shifts again, and cool, satin fingers wrap his hands; still them.

He anchors himself against her and rocks them as he steps outside himself and stares; counting up the years in one last invocation to who he used to be.

He doesn’t know how long they stand there, but the sun’s climbing higher on the purple-pink horizon, burning off the haze, and she’s in his arms as he watches his sisters disappear across the sand.

She shifts and steps, slides her hand into his and leads him down the dune.

The scent of sea and salt carries on the breeze and he’s going to walk on the beach with her.


  1. I love going to the beach. Have I read this before? It seems familiar. Hauntingly beautifully familiar. Or parts of it?

    It seems a smaller piece of a larger story.

    I posted today, I didn't want you to forget about me -- then again how could you when I'm always here?

  2. Hey, Anne. You're right. This is part of a longer piece. It's actually the part before the snippet I posted here last. Confusing? :)

    And you're right again. I could never forget you. :)

  3. Beautiful writing. Loved this. It's so well done. I posted an award for you on my blog.

  4. I love your use of rhythm and alliteration (especially the assonance. I dig assonance big time). You must write poetry too, no?

    It's cool to know this is part of something longer. I'm drawn in by this man's seeming to want to keep his new (and growing) life separate from the death/dying of his family of origin.

  5. The weekend is now off to a great start. Thank you!

    Re-reading your works brings always some new experience: the first time around is mainly a matter of characters and emotions - theirs and our own. But when I revisit your stories I notice the rest: it's like a complex painting that you can't take all in with just one look.

    This time, for example, it was the juxtaposition of death, and endings, with new beginnings - the new day dawning, the new life that's about to be born.
    Or the sadness of the past, of the ties severed forever and the joy of the shared present and future.

    And the realization that it's in the softer, sweeter paintings like this one that the feelings you represent cut deeper. In a good way, of course.

  6. Beautifully written. There's an element of sadness, but there's more too. A change, a decision, even acceptance for both. Thanks for sharing.

  7. A lovely piece of writing - as always :)

  8. Hi, Amy. Thank you. :)

    Hey, Roxy. Hee! Thank you. I love awards. :)

    Hi, Joanne. Thank you so much. You're right. So many of life's moments are wrapped up in layers of emotion. I'm glad this worked for you.

    Hi, Wendy. As always, thank you. :)

  9. Hi, Laurel. Thank you so much. I'm thrilled to know you liked this. And I love the parallels you drew about the separation of lives and families. I love that, too. I'm a big fan of symmetry.

    But I have to admit that I don't write poetry. My oldest son is the poet in the family. :)

    Hi, Nym. As always, you are far too kind to me. I'm honored you consider my stuff worth rereading. As you know, I love symmetry, and as usual your insights about juxtaposition are beautiful.

    And the realization that it's in the softer, sweeter paintings like this one that the feelings you represent cut deeper. In a good way, of course.

    Of course. :) And thank you so much.

  10. Wow, you write so beautifully!

  11. Hi, Kristan. Welcome and thank you. :)