Plum Island Haibun

Pavilion Beach, Ipswich, looking out at Plum Island

Seabirds scream overhead before diving into Pavilion Beach’s gentle waves. Tide pools reflect the sky. Surrounding sand is cold and muddy, squashing between my toes. A salty wind scrubs my skin raw.

The Ipswich beach is not crowded, but on one side, a sausage dog sniffs my feet and looks askance. On the other side, college students discuss over-drinking and under-studying, their laughter louder than the waves. Across the Sound, Plum Island’s sands gleam whiter than wishes. I daydream about solitude over there: just my family, the seabirds and the sunshine, sea winds blowing my cares away.

tide ripples and footsteps on the sand

I look down at the ripples left by the tides. Overlaid are footprints of people who arrived, gazed at the same sights as me, and then departed. They left these traces of life behind: bare feet, shod feet, children’s feet, bird feet. I add my footprints to the chaos left by other beach lovers. I am part of a greater whole, separate, yet no different.

white boat bobs
sails furled, engine quiet
bird feet leave no trace

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham