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The tide is at its ebb. Late sun quick-silvers

the narrowed estuary,  where river and sea

conflict and oyster catchers race upstream.

An ice cream van’s jingle jangle sounds

across the almost empty sands. ‘O sole

mio’… And you are suddenly there –

aged three – digging with purpose into the dusk.

Your daughter – that longed for, longed for joy –

already strives unprompted towards the sun,

scrabbling beyond the bounds of her play mat!

‘…n’aria serena doppo na tempesta!…’

How calm you are, how fulfilled with love!

As we leave the shore for home, mute swans

fly west – their thrilling wing beats song enough.

Somewhere before us, echoing through the streets,

the ice cream van calls: ‘O sole, sole mio.’

© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Ian Craine
    August 2, 2010

    This is also a beautiful poem, David.

  • John Chapman
    August 3, 2010

    Are we nearly there yet? This must bring back that parental memory ache to all whose children are now grown, and indeed to themselves, if ever they experienced the family seaside holiday. Very evocative.

  • Ashen
    May 15, 2015

    Ahw … blessed daughter 🙂

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