Poem: Point Loma Tidal Pools

by James E. Wolfe

I want you to listen to me carefully, please
I've climbed down this cliff
the one at the end of the continent where
the tide twice a day
like dialysis
reveals you traps you
Please, just listen

I can't stay here forever
no not the same forever we talked about
this one is longer
When I came here ended up here that day

I just need you to listen

I dipped my finger into the urn and tasted you
before letting the wind lift take
spread you on these waters
Some ended up in my cuff I shook it out

Giant wise whales turned their
slow smooth heads in the dark waters
under both polar caps
hearing you enter their world letting
you become part of their memory
knowing our secrets smiling

Brown natives wading near
warm coral reefs felt you move
past their ankles attracting
sunset colored fish from surrounding lagoons
their fins slicing the surface in tiny circles

You became part of shipwrecks
ice floes typhoons and rainbows
You are part of squids' ink
the salt on surfers' brows
You move with the contractions
of all the seven seas as they labor
Now here's the interesting part

You were spotted once by a young
blonde man-child releasing his grip
on his mothers hand dipping
his finger under the surface
as you waited so still
next to that pale yellow fish

The mothers name was Elizabeth, with a z

I imagine you smiling
I imagine you more patient now
I imagine you intentionally getting trapped here
in this tidal pool twice a day

I came here to breathe
I came here to close my eyes and not
miss anything
I came here pulled by the moon
I came here because of words on paper
I came here because of a package of
sea salt on my kitchen counter
One last thing, OK?

I'll come back before I leave
I'll climb back down the cliff
I'll look for the pale yellow fish
and if I'm lucky

I know this sounds silly
but, please listen
If I'm lucky
IÕll find that child's
and place my fingertip
gently in it
Before the tide returns.