Barefoot I walked across the sand,

this pocket handkerchief sized beach,

this sand was once a foreign land,

home now, my destination reached.

I shuffle and I stumble here,

it’s what the old do well I fear.

Sand tingles in between my toes,

though darkness falls my mind is clear.

The ocean laps it draws me out,

the tide and I now hand in hand,

So as we came soon we must go,

together we will leave this land.

The night is lit by sprinkled stars,

and out at sea the ocean’s limit,

horizon’s wall well holds it back,

and stops it in its liquid tracks.

Transported back a million years

to childhood days, a different beach.

Before the war our sarnies made

with jam and sand and potted paste.

That beach still there, cold distant land,

while here is warm and here’s all quiet,

and here the air smells sweet with salt,

sad how it all became my fault,

(one million years elapsed?)

We look ahead we look behind,

but there’s no forward anymore.

I realise I’m very tired,

too tired for one last dance, perhaps?

by Finbar Hanaghan. March 2023.