A Stroll Along Coogee Beach – C. F. Vassa

In time to the sound of waves crashing in my ears,
I breathe in and out the strong salty air,
grains of sand stick in between my toes,
the wind plays with my hair,
warm rays of the rising sun caress my back,
oh it feels good to be here walking in footsteps washed away,
and family stories of this beach come flooding back.
A pier was once here,
stretching right out to sea,
people visited from all of the different areas of Sydney,
walking on the promenades and watching plays at the theatre,
a restaurant sat above and a bandstand on a widened area,
it was grand and well loved,
but one day it was gone,
a wild storm they said claimed it as it’s own.
I stare down to the northern end,
there is the aquarium dome in the distance,
a relic from the past, once a famous tourist site,
until a shark in a tank spluttered out a tattooed arm!
What distress and fright,
A murder case resulted and the press focused on who could have caused such harm…
The surf club sits at the southern side of the beach,
a place alive with activity,
lifesavers guarding the shores for more than a century,
Jack Chalmers a legend for his bid to save a man attacked by a shark,
we were warned as children that the victim did not survive the day,
that the shark siren sounds so that we are kept out of harm’s way.
I return to this day and age,
walking further along the beach,
my eyes follow what is left of the original stone wall,
it breaks and reappears along the boardwalk,
like the memories of the past,
I give the fragments that are left to future generations,
hope within me that they will wash up with the tides to come.