It occurred to me today, the difference,
yours and mine, out there among the rockpools
on the beach.
Even now you hang back,
loath to touch the fleshy female forms
recoiling from the plump translucent lips
of scarlet sea creatures — phantom lives
which float unanchored and without direction
beneath the glassy surface.
Oblivious to sound and touch and smell you only see
and only what you want to see.
A little boy you knelt for hours on end
beside the smooth shallows,
absorbed by tiny patterns, subtle shadows,
species only patience will reward.
I could not wait, I liked to see things move,
to hold them in my hand, to feel a hundred
tickling legs wriggling through finger spaces.
It gave you the willies the way I’d poke inside
the magic sequined rings of broken shale and shell
to feel the life inside respond and hold.
© Sarah Day