Early morning on the beach

the ocean has made delicate patterns in the sand

and carved pits and mounds, and sweeping valleys .

Across it all is imprinted

a landscape of foot prints large and small—

a child’s bare foot, perfect toes, sole patterns of myriad shoes

bird feet, dog feet, bike tracks, and even the tracks of a car.

It is as if a whole city has cast its footprint here on the shore–

fleeing from heat, from fire and smoke, from fear and disease.

It is difficult walking through it all.

And I wonder–

did they, for a moment, hear the ocean’s voice​

this morning a gentle roar beating against the shore

“There is nowhere to go. Nowhere to go…”

Then little Hendrix, the Beagle, comes trotting along

I offer her a treat

She tips her head in gratitude.

And I walk on knowing

a new sweep of wave and sand

and we begin all over again.

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