the beach
a moment in time

lying on the warm, damp sand I watch them,
an old, gray dog on his favorite rug...

Anna, Rhiannon, my little one...
16 months old, still learning the world,
frightened by noises and strangers
      but here...
she stomps in the puddles and laughs at the droplets,
sits in the mud and grins,
digging Anna-sized holes in the water and sand
with those tiny, incredible fingers
that hold my hand so tightly
when we walk...

a 3-year-old wonder
who rescues wiggling worms from the lake
and buries them, carefully, in the dirt
who knows quartz and agates and petrified wood
who makes up songs and stories
wandering down the beach with a branch
drawing letters and pictures of cats
and stopping to look at the shell of a clam
glistening in the sun...

and Alicia, my love, my lover...
most magical of them all,
the woman who gave me these miracles
sitting there, eyes closed, listening
to the wind and the waves and the laughter of children,
blonde hair drifting gently
in the breeze...

it's all more than I ever dreamed of,
more than I knew existed...
surrounded by love and life and living,
lying there in the warm, damp sand,
I look at everything good in the world
and smile...

@ 2001
Daryl Hrdlicka