As a boy,
I would sit on the shore,
staring out into the sea,
imagining myself as a father:

I am older, stronger,
the girl down the street my wife,
and she’s given me boys,
ones I can call my own.

They run through the grass,
backyard to frontyard,
but of course they grow restless,
the voices outside calling them.

As men they leave easily,
as easily as opening and closing a door,
leaving their rooms intact,
leaving me in the treehouse out bac
k, to play by myself.

Like all fathers,
I wait for their return,
swinging in the frontyard,
wife in the backyard,
me staring out into the street.

But time passes,
like this tide tickling my toes,
like mother calling me in,
like September always ending.

I stare out and see myself,
now as a grey man,
his head bobbing up and down in the sea,
the memories running away,
as if abandoning ship, as I sink.

But before I go underneath,
I stare back at the little boy I was,
watching me drown from the shore,
staring out into the sea.