A Last Wave

Feel sorry for her? That’s a good way to ruin a teenager’s weekend.
This is not the way, say, for an ocean to gain advantage on the shore.
Time and tide, he thinks; let the experience wash over her.

All things must shape her like time will shape all things,
and she will dance, and then she will not dance again,
speak French, even study at the Sorbonne, and then she will not,
play the flute, dream of night with Baryshnikov, and then she will not,
become a mother, and, with one last wearing wave, she will not.

And though her life’s work of art will be finished with flourish, it’s true
she will never dream again as he will of her until he is taken by ocean.
No, her tears for all this upstairs in her room, let those wash out.
She will think on them, turn them in her young mind,
and find a place for them in the piecing of her grand mosaic.

No time to play God, he thinks, and disappears from the scene.

Memory, tell him, did it happen that way at all with her over then,
or is this his twisting hope of it all, a convoluted memorial, rather,
now he sees in reflection how the water’s edge will touch her no more?

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