The Sea

poem by Paula Stevenson , illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

I can smell it first—
the salty air, feel it
crusting my skin,
stiffening my hair.

Then I can hear it—
the engine of the sea
roaring, churning.

I race across
the stinging sand
to the cool fringes
of the waves.

My toes disappear—
footless I stand
like a statue
on a strange shore.

The waves unroll
then retreat
exposing my feet
on corrugated ridges.

Above me gulls shriek
diving like arrows,
piercing the skin
of the sea.

I trace a trail
past glowing bluebottles
and beaded seaweed.

On the sandy floor
of the rock pool
three red starfish
gaze at the sky above.