I Must Go Down To The Sea Again

The title is a reference to the poem Sea Fever by John Masefield.

I am currently taking a summer writing class with Beth Kempton online. This piece was written after one of her guided meditations. For those of you who may not know, my father died in 2010 after a seven year battle with brain cancer.

I Must Go Down to the Sea Again

all of us (save him) in a circle on the damp sand
I read both sonnets, his favorite and mine
(a matched pair) as the sun set.
Each of us took out a handful of ashes,
and I went last.
I had read that sometimes the wind can blow ashes
into your face,
and though I liked the idea
of breathing him in,
I wanted to set him free here — this place we loved,
our holy place.
The water was frigid,
but I waded out up to my waist
my jeans heavy and clinging,
to rinse out the glass jar.

Here you go, Daddy, here you are
how we loved to find starfish, seaglass, rocks with holes —
how we loved this place together.

A week later, just before leaving town,
we stopped at the beach one last time.
At my feet, the tiniest, smoothest rock
with a perfect hole right through.

How I’d love to return — someday — swim down deep,
sun breaking through the water,
and see him sparkling all around me.

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