I am sitting on the beach on a breathtakingly beautiful day. The waves lap against the shore with predictability. I am grateful for this time to sit by myself and just feel. I close my eyes and listen. The sounds of the beach soothe me. I imagine myself floating on a raft, the waves gently lifting me up and down as I drift away from the shore. I feel happy and at peace. Later I will write about this moment in poetic verse.
It is forty-six years later and I am sitting at my desk. I am alone. The silence overwhelms me. I open my blinds and watch the sun fade away. I close my eyes and transport myself to that small strip of beach hundreds of miles away. I feel the sand between my toes. I hear the waves lapping against the shore. I see a ship in the distance and I wonder where it is going. I imagine swimming out to the ship. I feel tired and so afraid I might drown.
I open my eyes and start searching through my desk for the faded papers filled with poetic verse.
They are discovered under decades of files.
I read each poem hoping to find the girl who once knew how to swim.