“I Imagine” dVerse Poets, Prose Poetry

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I Imagine

I imagine one more holiday.
My mother sits at a large picture window
looking out over a broad beach,
watching dogs fetching sticks.
Then, because she cannot help it,
she takes her shoes off to walk through packed sand.
I imagine her sighting the offshore rock
where puffins nest.
I imagine footprints—hers and mine
and the paw prints of the dog—
someone else’s—
who joins us for the price of a stick thrown
over and over into the waves.

My mother could count her trips to the beach
on one hand,
and most of those times have been with me.
Once, in Wales, we sat on the long sea wall
under Dylan Thomas’s boathouse.
A cat walked the wall out to us,
precise and careful
to get as few grains of sand as possible
between its paw pads.
As it preened and arched under my mother’s smooth hand,
its black hairs caught in her diamond rings.

The other time we went to the beach
was in Australia.
We stayed out all afternoon,
throwing and throwing a stick,
a big black dog running first after,
then in front of it,
my dad sleeping in the car parked at the roadside,
my mother and I playing together
as we had never played before.

My mother and the ocean
have always been so far divided,
with me as the guide rope in between.
I imagine reeling them both in toward each other
and one more trip.
My mother, me, a dog or cat.
Wind to bundle up for and to walk against.
Wind to turn our ears away from.
Sand to pour out of our pockets
to form a small  volcano
with a crab’s claw at the top.

So that years from now,
when I empty one pocket,
I will find sails from by-the-wind sailors
and shark egg casings,
fragile black kelp berries
and polished stones.
The bones of my mother. The dreams of me.

From the other pocket, empty,
I will pull all the reunions I never fought hard enough for—
regrets over trips to the sea we never made.
And I’ll imagine taking me to oceans.
Walks. Treasures hidden in and hiding sand.
Someone walking with me—
someone else’s child, perhaps,
and a dog chasing sticks.

Note: I never took that last trip to the ocean with my mother, but I think of her every year when I come to stay at the beach on my own, and this year in particular, every time I throw the stick for Morrie and every time children come to play with us.

Written for the dVerse Poets prompt, Prose Poetry.To play along, go HERE.

35 thoughts on ““I Imagine” dVerse Poets, Prose Poetry

  1. Allenda Moriarty

    Very dear. I know you cherished your mom. Thought of you today as I was walking around in the yard as art project. We’ve expanded the area out by the cave, or, la cueva, to you Mexicanos. Look forward to walking around in the yard and introducing you to new shrubs, trees, vines, etc the next time you are here. Hope you are having a lovely and meaningful time at the beach.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, fm. I wrote it so long ago that I think my mom was still alive. I was imagining taking her to Canon Beach, Oregon and having my sisters meet us there. It never happened, but I did walk beaches with someone else’s children and after throwing sticks for a progression of other people’s dogs, am finally throwing them for Morrie. Well, balls. He refuses to chase anything but green tennis balls. He even refused the orange tennis ball that came with the throwing stick.

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  2. kim881

    A lovely tribute to your mother, Judy. You have painted detailed and delicate images of walks on beaches with her. I love that cat on the sea wall under Dylan Thomas’s boathouse; the lines:
    ‘My mother and the ocean
    have always been so far divided,
    with me as the guide rope in between.
    I imagine reeling them both in toward each other
    and one more trip’;
    and.the stanza:
    ‘So that years from now,
    when I empty one pocket,
    I will find sails from by-the-wind sailors
    and shark egg casings,
    fragile black kelp berries
    and polished stones.
    The dreams of my mother. The bones of me.’
    I have not long lost my mother and your poem has touched my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. hypercryptical

    Beautiful memories which left me quite emotional as I neared the close. Thank you for sharing.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Sarah. The trip to Great Britain with my mother was such a special time and that afternoon stands out in my mind. I have a photo, but it is at home in a photobook and I don’t have access to it. Perhaps I’ll find it and put it into the post when I get home.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    That’s wonderful! I think if you were to set it as prose, it would make a very fine prose-poem indeed.

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