five o'clock on a pebble beach

sitting just out of the reach of the waves
with feelings about so long ago
stories I haven't written, arguments I haven't won
again and again the waves come to me and stop

the sun so bright on the sea, and I want to cry
as I did as a child on this pebbly beach
fear ruled my life then, of the rocks, of the sea
does it not now, of the future, of the past?

cold waves, hot sun, steep cliffs
I am so lucky to visit the places of my childhood
all recognizably changed
and so much smaller than I remember!

a distant sailboat on the distant horizon
going only one way, as do time and my life
a wave reaches me and reminds me
the same wave will never be back again

every moment a myriad of choices, never to be repeated
church bells remind me of what I am missing
I asked a coin for a head or a tail, the coin had neither
every wave that never comes back is in the amazing now

yet the sea stays before me on this pebble beach
waves may hit this shore longer than I live
there is a forever, my childhood beach is still here
the sailboat is gone, the sea a beautiful color

I am still here, without knowing why
my feet know the pebbles, my eyes the worn glass
small colorful pieces worn smooth by the waves
I am no longer a child, why do I want to cry?

and why am I happy to be here, to see the sea?