The last time my father returned from work
there was just enough daylight left for me
to watch his shadow follow on the street.
I was coming home from the beach to meet
him as usual and I can still see
the way he stopped for breath under an arc
of maple limbs, the way he looked around
without noticing I was there behind
him on the rise. Sand rode a sea breeze thick
with the familiar scent of brine and fish.
Soon he would move again. He would climb
the stairs, laughing gulls would still be the sound
of summer sun, I would still be fourteen
and have no reason to recall that scene.