Playing at Forever The ocean never stops its tug of war with beach sand. Its great democratic voice consumes all the laughter and whispered vows vacationers make on blankets, spread out under brightly striped umbrellas under the sun and our tans that end where our suits begin. We have come as far away from our careers as a tide of untimed time could take us, yet we find there is something naggingly familiar in the way native children smile at us. They coax us to throw coins they dive for, perhaps their only real freedom. Resurfacing, their faces glow brightly as their palms lined with silver. Our minds float above us like jellyfish, permeating our days with stinging responsibilities. But here we are untethered from time’s twins, and our bodies ache to be calmed, cooled and retuned to whim. We swim under water, holding our breath, carefree as children playing at forever, though we know we must come up for air.
About the Author: Richard Levine, a retired NYC teacher, is the author of Selected Poems, Contiguous States, and five chapbooks. Now in Contest is forthcoming from Fernwood Press. An Advisory Editor of BigCityLit.com, he received the 2021 Connecticut Poetry Society Award, and co-edited “Invasion of Ukraine 2022: Poems.” “The Spoils of War” is forthcoming in American Book Review. website: richardlevine107.com
Image Credit: Herman Hartwich “Cape Cod, Beach” (1894) Public domain image courtesy of Artvee