Sea Lady

Standing on top of a cliff, wind blowing your hair back off your face, sun glistening off the sea spray on your shoulders; I somehow feel you are too much for me.

But I approach you anyway. I say, “Hello.”, and smile. I tell you, “You look very relaxed.”

You smile at me and laugh, “I love it here”, you say, and look back out to sea. I look out also.

I feel the light mist of the sea on the wind. Slowly it gathers on my face and arms; hardly noticeable. Soon my hair is soaked, my lips are wet and salty. We stand with the wind in our faces looking out to sea.

I start to think of all the men who are out there. Some alive, some dead.

And all the women who wait. Some alive, some dead.

The spray seems colder, but I know it should be braved somehow for the sake of others.

The sounds start to draw my attention. The slow rhythm of the waves makes me rock back and forth. The rustling of the receding break makes me shiver for loss, the pending silence before the crash makes me frightened.

I wonder if she feels the same.

I wonder if she is waiting or if she is somehow preparing? Preparing for the inevitable – we must do for one another. The inevitable give and take to survive on land and sea.

She takes my hand; it is cold from the sea spray. Slowly the water between us warms and feels more like sweat. I’m sure she feels the same, she turns her head, she is smiling.

I feel I could stay here forever; never felt like that before.

She looks down at her feet. The smile never leaves her face, I follow her gaze down.

Her eyes are the colour of the sea, her feet are the colour of the cliff, her legs are covered so I don’t know how far she’s gone. She smiles.

I look deep into her eyes and stay there.

© Sean G. O’Leary 2002

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