You rose from the sea,
dripping wet with salt and tears
as you dragged your clinging lace
and came forward to meet me.

I was running to reach you,
but you had already fallen.
I knew your lungs had burst.
Did you see me running?

Forgive me, I arrived too late.
You were dead and lay frozen
like a marble Goddess, eyes glazed.
We had no time to embrace!

Oh please forgive me,
I couldn’t just bury you in the sand,
your body was so beautiful
I could hardly bear to touch it.

Oh but let me tell you, I waited weeks
for the darkness of the new moon
so I could slip you back into the waves
and try to forget you had ever existed.

I found your lace shawl on the beach.
I wear it occasionally.
It hands around me cold and damp,
like the memory of an ancient dream.

©Michele Darnell-Roberts