The sea could do this in its sleep,
rewrite history with each wave, but keep
its darkest secrets from us, those which run too deep.
We stand alone among the rock pools
watching the waves break afresh, script and scroll
spread out across the sand, which is turning a shade of purple
as the evening makes its first advance
through the marram grass, spitting the difference
with each blade. Along this fossil coast the slowest dance
of all is being played out. My daughter,
picking up a stick, troubles the rock pool’s water
before looking down into its optic as if it were a mirror.
What is it she sees
beyond those sessile lives, the shy anemones
which seem to blush and then withdraw? Such clarity
is hard to bear. With child herself and older,
let every god protect them when I am gone forever;
let her not look up and see my face slowly clouding over.