Thursday, 2 May 2013

That Part of the Beach

That part of the beach falls
cast down and lonely

in the damp -
for it seems - (more often than not)
cold and damp, when we walk
on that part of the beach

a barren gothic cliffhanger
of a space framed
by ocean, sky and mountains -

a good place for a spurned woman
(clutching a threadbare shawl
about her tiny shoulders)
to peer with fixed vacancy
at the ships coming in:

waiting for her life to begin
on that part of the beach.

(Or so, it occurs to me, when we are there.)

Occasionally a robust jogger bursts
(out of nowhere) incongruously,
and flabbergasts the plot -
before barrelling off.

Often (when that happens) he asks:
What's so funny about this part of the beach?

And I realize, he must look at my face,
(at least, now and then)
when I don't know it.

That makes me smile, again -
For real, the second time.

note:  A cliffhanger is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma.  It is thought to have originated with the 1873 novel A Pair of Blue Eyes, by Thomas Hardy (which originally appeared in serial form in a newspaper, as was common at the time) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left literally hanging off a cliff.

photo:  That Part of the Beach on the Burrard Inlet - W. Bourke

© 2013 Wendy Bourke

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