Poetry – Patterns on the Shore


Patterns on the Shore, by Tricia Knoll

A young mother in jeans bends
and runs to keep up.
Her toddling son lurches
across rippled sand
behind retreating tide.

“Look!” she says, “Patterns?
Nature is patterns.
Everywhere patterns.”
The child jogs, mooshing
wave lapped ridges.

Thereís stacked clouds —
god to the east,
fish-scales to the west,
and mist draping the mountain north.

Wave battalions advance.
We flee an assertive wave
marching against orderly ebb.
Brown pelicans skim the troughs.

in clam dimples
ocean pines corkscrewing
from winter wind
bird blown off course
fragile migrations

What does he understand?
We breathe the same misted air,
walk the vast splattered sand,
measure the tideís withdrawal
in abandoned snakes of sea foam.

The boyís feet trudge
one after another,
head tucked low
over skeleton-studded sand.