JENNY RECALDIN 13R
We go along this pebbled shore again today, Papa.
As autumn sunset crashes- we’re just copper shadows.
Waves still rumble, clacking shingle, but
Dusty curls have stooped with your back.
Our feet skipped here, over the sea kale, once, Papa
Wheeled around like paper aeroplanes, caught up
In the gusts, we tumbled over the babbling cobbles
Chortling deep as buoyant cormorants.
You were so tall Papa,
Aegean. Athletic. Charcoal hair thrown back
That grin has carved your cheeks into wrinkles
that sag like minor tones from an old guitar.
You crouched here, Papa
Old deck shoes bent with the soles of your feet
Those smooth hands effortlessly turned the shingle,
Magnetised fingers drawn to the superlative stone.
You brought me the perfect skimmer, Papa:
Polished and plump as a fresh gravestone,
So that it danced in spraying pirouettes
Betwixt friction and flight.
Side long and an exacting flick of the wrist, Papa,
That’s how to enchant gleefully
To be choreographer of the ballet,
Until from the final leap- a fathomless bow.
And I tried, I promise I did Papa
But I never could, choose the right pebble- too
Long, uneven and fleshy- I never had
The instinctual pull, the simple knowledge
Of which dull brown gem would soar.
I screamed, don’t you remember Papa?
Kicked out puppy-limbs in protest to
My own incompetence, as every lump
Sunk- succumbing, quivering
I flushed puce in tears.
All that is echo now, Papa.
Waves murmur my wails in glum lulls,
The monstrous cliffs are ghosts behind us
And in the hush I hear you laugh at me again.
image: Cuckmere Haven
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