I cast the words in your direction,
on barbed hooks, with vile bait.
I waited at the water’s edge,
and I learned a bit too late—
that all I had intended was to
catch and throw you back,
but the words had been so hateful
that the waters had turned black,
and you were dying in the deep,
while I stood with rod and line,
wishing I could reel back
words that poisoned brine.
When mermaids–laughing, young, and sweet–
Shift from flippers to ten-toed feet,
Beware of smiles that lure you there–
Of rosy cheeks and curly hair.
For they won’t stay that way for long,
And all you’ll keep is their sweet song.
At Cocoa Beach, I chased the sun,
And caught it everywhere.
Like all those shuttles launched nearby,
It blasted through the air.
At Cocoa Beach, I played in sand–
Grains running through my toes.
And soon the sand was everywhere–
My hair, my ears, my nose.
At Cocoa Beach, I stood in waves,
That had a pleasant beat.
And when those waves crashed upon me–
They helped to fight the heat.
At Cocoa Beach, the day was done.
I took my pail and spade;
Walked slowly back across the beach,
And thought of how I’d played.
Note to Josie: During lunch at the Mango Tree, you charmed a woman in her seventies, who was chatty and talked about the early days of space travel and the corresponding excitement in this area of the U.S. She said that in those days, you could expect to see an astronaut and his family having dinner in a local restaurant, and that Walter Cronkite would likely be there in a corner.