Wide view of a beach as people meander along where the white waves break on the sand.

A Day at the Beach

Your mother wears crimson bottoms and her top was designed in the likeness of watermelons. She is mortified at the possibility that the ocean steals them away. These five foot swells are too tall, too tumultuous for us to maintain footing. They toss us this way and that. She keeps putting her hand to her belly after recovering from each wave, as if to make sure you’re alright. She doesn’t know she’s doing that.

They tell me you can hear now. “The size of a sweet potato,” they say, “but a small one and not a yam.” Does the ocean sound terrible from in there? — the crashing of waves, the gulls in terrible song overhead, the playful hysteria of your mother and I? I put my hand on her belly, too, then, to try and say it’s alright.

But you’re alright — perhaps it is even the most peaceful place on earth, so close to nothingness, in between here and there. Soon enough you’ll have ears for sweet song, a tongue for sweet wine, a soul for love and thunder and the higher things, eyes for sun and sea. For now, though, from the inside, a day at the beach.