On the beach, with the evening sun behind me, I splay my legs and
outstretch my arms in a pose of childlike joy and I’m a boy again.
My shadow spills its fuzzy-edged exaggeration on the wet sand and
she traces her finger around my blurred outline, mapping my boundaries.
Perimeter-drawn in the soft silt, we examine the daub and laugh at
the monstrous claws she’s given me instead of hands – lobsterman.
We gather stones – chalk and flint for his bones and meat – and seaweed –
a mess of kelp for his hair. Resplendent in this mineral and vegetable garb
we declare him complete and stare out to sea. Before we leave – a final act
I stand one rock on end, erect. The tide turns. Potent and proud, we watch
the waves rise. The salty waters swirl around his insides and slowly drag
him back into their dark depths, alive.
Richard Biddle, 2011
(Commended in first Poems Please Me competition, Holidays)