After The Storm – Matthew Tucker

After the storm
the thick black kelp rolls in on oily chop
with a roil and boil and a slap and a slop
and a surge up the sand leaving foam in its wake
and fragments of weed for the comber to rake
from the bluebottle trails and barnacle cones
knotted fishing line and bleached chicken bones
where ankles sink deep as the ocean slides back
yet another wave runs in to take up the slack
our fading footprints intertwine
zig-zagging at the waterline;
a fleeting trace of water play
smothered by froth and dragged away
by seething, writhing leather strands
while we walk onwards holding hands
and let the turmoil do its thing
reshaping the past, creating, forgetting
at the end of the beach we turn our gaze
back; golden rocks … a far-off haze
we taste the thick and salty air
it is as if we were never there.