Turn your back on the ocean.
Abandon your wooden chair.

Like dogs, like children
consider your companion
to be you

and whoever else arrives.
Let’s crouch in the sand
behind the crowd
and play

parallel.
From time to time
the brims of our hats
might touch. We might
exchange shells
or occassional words.

One day, when tides are hard to number
we might sit like your mother: shawled
warm in her own presence
while conversation billows around her bonnet.

Before then
we each might board a wobbly vessel,
wondering
if a lover’s strength
will keep us afloat.

Now, next or then
let’s meet here
any time
on the Beach at Trouville.

If we clamber into a wagon
and trundle along the salty shore,
let’s take turns

to rest.
And let’s trust our equidistant tracks
to remind us

of what we do
and what we don’t
make in this world.

– Naomi Byrnes

Prompted by this visual meditation on Eugene Boudin’s “Beach Scene at Trouville”, courtesy National Gallery of Art Washington.

Please feel very welcome to comment with a link to your own creative response.

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