Alana Martel

An Ocean View

The laughter of children
Spinning, rolling on the beach
A wave,
it comes and roars toward the shore.
My granddaughter goes under
only to come up again
but resilient.

These waves are not for me,
I have the sun, the sand, a cooler of sandwiches
I have a jacket
And a book -- Moby-Dick.

I hold the ocean
I smell the ocean
My feet nestle in moist sand
But can I
fall into a wave?
Feel my body triumph
over the prowess
of the sea?

A child learns to crawl, a bird to fly
When will I learn
to live through my inadequacies?

A burst of wind brings a toddler’s scream
Amalia runs for her towel.
The book falls from my hands, I slip as I stoop to get it
Too much for this old thing.


My sons arms surround me,
my daughter’s hand takes my own
My grandson says
“Here you go, Grandma! All wiped off!”

“We love you.”
“What happened Mom?”
“You okay there Sarah?”

My children remember when I could live
When I could run, and push, and lift
They still can do those things
and use the skills to run to me now
I may not be able to skip again.
But at least
I can sit here not alone
but with family.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.