Our Ocean

By Kristina Kingsley


 

When I was born

mother told me

we shared our blue eyes

with the ocean waves

beside the cottage

where you gave her grandmother’s ring

I hear these waves lap gently

and smell the salty air

Winds gust through my hair

this last time we swim at dawn

past the sandy shore

Mother cooked in the cottage

her famous meal of Kloesse

warm in my mouth

You read to me

Your voice, warm and enchanting

as I fall asleep

on our pink pebbled porch

Recall our adventures

last August’s 3­day road trip down the coast

the funny faces we made at tourists,

the pint of pink ice cream we ate until our bellies ached,

and the peeled flesh of oranges we snagged from the grumpy neighbors’ trees

Every night I wish we could go back

to the beach, the tourists, the home cooked meals

but my heart is as cold as the ice cream

and as dark as a the starless nights

I sit awake on the porch, longing to hear your voice

The hospital sheet on your bed, clenched in my fingers

offers no warmth, but I will not recede like the tide

for my hope is as strong as my grasp on your limp hands

and the tears that stream down my face, as salty as the sea

So I have come to tell you, fight

for you do not belong

beneath a marble carving

in an endless sea of grey stones

that does not know our ocean