This is not how I remember it:
last summer both sea and sky were blue
and children's laughter filled the air
like morning birdsong, while grownups in swimsuits
lay on the beach toasting their fair skin
to a deep shade of raw.
Today, there's just one man
walking his dog. He stares through me,
his heavy boots crunch, crunch, crunching by -
at least, I assume it's a he - I can see no more
than a pair of eyes peering out
from beneath hat, balaclava and overcoat.
All I can smell and taste is salt.
At my feet, the freezing weed-bearded sea
seems to reach out to me
in waves that long to share secret memories
of bygone days and forgotten lives.
Ssh! Are those hoof beats I hear thundering along the shoreline
above the sound of the restless surf?
My heartbeats race to catch you up.
A time warp engulfs us both:
suddenly, I'm riding behind you on your grey mare,
my arms wrapped tightly around your waist, as I watch
your white linen shirt billowing
like a spinnaker in the balmy wind
and the horse's hooves throwing up clumps of wet sand.
I'm gripped by an ecstasy of anticipation.
The sun dancing on the surface of the water is dazzling.
I close my eyes and we touch Souls...
across a chasm of ninety years.