As I walk to the water
through the soft warm sand,
I reach the shore
and the water laps at my feet,
burying my toes.
The sun warms my skin
and feels like a long and much needed hug.
My mind started playing tricks on me
as I looked out at the horizon.
Soft words in a deep voice envelope me,
with my own giggles as a little girl,
clinging to her Papi,
wearing swim trunks and a white undershirt.
He never cared for the water
but took pleasure watching me soak in the sun
and splash around in his arms.
As a woman, I watch the waves and miss my Papi.
Strolling the shore,
I see the billows of white when the waves crash,
and think of everything that has passed since that day.
As that afternoon came to an end,
we left the water,
my big family enjoying this rare gathering
that would not happen often enough.
Papi looked out and smiled at the water,
a bit of sadness and a bit of joy;
he loved that he spent time with me and my sister that day
but did not love that it was calling him back
to what he considered home as a child.
As a woman, I watch as the tide comes in
and wonder if I have never loved the water as an adult
because it reminds of a time that is long gone.
As I take a deep breath,
I smell the salt
and feel the thickness of the air through my nose
and into my lungs.
The sounds of the birds
and the ocean saying goodbye
as I turn away and leave,
never wanting to return.