The Beach
Author: Jim


The sand sifted between my toes like the last few minutes of an hour glass, slowly trickling down, leaving only a slight residue. The residue felt like sand paper, incredibly itchy, although addictive, as I ran my foot deeper into the sand to feel the warm crystals again. Was I dreaming? Did I just see my Grandfather? There was a cold chill that raced up my torso at lightening speed, paralyzing me into a Sodom like state. I’ve never met my Grandfather, but I have seen tons of pictures of his handsome self since I was a child. I heard all the stories about his thick Irish brogue and his belly laugh that could light up a room, not to mention his story telling way. My father used to brag about how he could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo, or con you out of your last quarter and make you feel guilty about your lack of funds. However, there were also the stories of his extreme generosity and making sure all the children in his “walk-up” were fed during the Depression years when he himself had little to spare. All the old women loved him and the old men respected him as they politely chirped out “Tis Himself” whenever he approached them sitting on the stoop.

I stared harder at the mist to find even just his shadow, but he was no longer there. The rage in my chest began to well up, whilst the Southern mist rolling in off the Nags Head beach formed droplets on my forehead, sliding ever so softly around the curve of my eye. While I began to wipe away the bead of water from my icy cheek, I instantly went back in time to a place so familiar, a place my father called home, Ireland. I dug my foot deeper into the sand, now cool and wet and no longer sifting easily through my toes, but rather clumping up into balls. I was overwrought with emotion as I strained my eyes forward, fixated on the distance, awaiting his return. The echoes of the sea began to talk to me, whispering in my ear to call out his name, but I was as frozen as a lighthouse, standing tall and alone. I became that silent beacon of light peering out into the distance, silently waiting, just waiting for that lost soul.

With my eyes shut and visions of the green Isle flashing in that black space within my mind like camera bulbs from my grandfather’s era, I see him now so clearly. His hair was dark; his skin was light and his eyes greener than the four leaf clover. My grandfather began to bubble over with that famous belly laugh then abruptly stopped as our eyes met. A feeling of warmth blanketed my entire being and washed away the rage within me. His thumb gently whisked away the droplet of dew. I opened my eyes and whispered into the sea, Tis’ Himself. Finally, I’ve met my Grandfather.

------- Author's Notes -------

for my friend D.


Comments on this poem/writing:

MC ( -- Thursday, January 4 2007, 09:51 pm

Lovely story, Jim

Ireland is the homeland of my grandparents, and I'm so hoping to go there someday. Nice writing, keep it up.
JIM ( -- Sunday, January 7 2007, 08:45 pm


appreciate the feedback MC
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