Memory Film of Point Roberts
Summer of ‘98 and the russet hatchback
swings into a narrow, flower lined driveway.
Poppies, lavender, chrysanthemums intertwine
to create a marbled smudge, a watercolor painting.
Further on the indigo, wind-blown log cabin
perched upon a bluff blends in to the sky beyond,
a two-dimensional backdrop, dangerous,
a sharp drop to the ocean below.
Small bodies shoot out of the car, across the field,
down the stairs and then, fifty feet away, the frigid
pacific waves collide with hard packed
sand strewn with scattered shells
and driftwood and opalescent pebbles. Plum hued
starfish lounge in sun warmed tide pools.
To children, an enchanting aquatic carnival.
(A snapshot then of a small girl, all
blonde curls and freckles and missing teeth,
salt crusted skin glinting in the afternoon sun.
An imperfect replica of the woman on the pinstripe blanket,
she leaps from the weathered dock, limbs splayed
like the starfish in the tide pools.
Unlike the starfish, she will leave here when
the sun dips low on the horizon, painting
the skyline coral, crimson, tangerine,
as it sinks below the ocean once more.
She will remember this first day as a dream,
a film that plays on repeat in her mind.)
The briny ocean air seeps into her pores,
and will stay in her skin, always.