Child on the Beach

His steps are peaceful like the sea today

and in front of the next small, cresting wave

I watch him pick up shells to hear them say

this is the water your young mother gave

to you at birth; his tide-born eyes like birds

that have left sand to float on the ocean.

It will be years from now when those soft words

come back to him, come back when the motion

of schools and work have clogged his natural ears

and somewhere beyond that fog he will hear

his mother’s voice from the far shore of songs

calling from island wombs where he belongs

and he’ll know he must come back again to learn.

I know this child. I know he will return.