Sea Castles

seagulls-sea-640

He had waded out too far
The boy in the sea
Knee-deep he stood
As the tide withdrew
Drawing bridges round his toes
Dipped in seaweed

On a mermaid watch
Spying only undulating glass
Alluring sheets of metal grey,
Gathering towers, sparkling spires,
Sudden with a dragon’s curve

And he, turning away too late
To shore, felt the sand give way
Beneath shifting feet of clay,
Merman knee-deep no longer
Arms flailing, gasping watery riddles

Above the cresting wave
Choking fear and salt water
Blinded eyes seeing royal fury
Losing air, light, sky, dreams
In a torrent of sea

Till he grew legs again
Bones plucked from the foam
Tossed back onto the shore
Spluttering at the eddying pool
From which he rose

Like a bird flapping forgotten wings
Then dropping like a stone
On to his knees
Beside fallen sea castles.

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