It was on the first day of our seaside holiday
that I found him
spat out by the sea
and swimming alone in the rock pool.
I had never seen a seahorse before,
only pictures in a book.
I used my shoe to fish him out
and ran back quickly,
one shoe on and one shoe off,
before the water leaked out.
I put him in the sink
and watched him swim.
He didn’t seem quite right.
Or maybe it was the pictures that were wrong,
or my memory.
He couldn’t stay in the sink.
My mother made that quite clear.
So I found a bell jar in the cobwebby shed
and put him in that.
I fed him on bits
and mashed banana.
He spat them all out angrily.
I thought he would die from lack of food
and my mother said he couldn’t come home with us.
So I took him back to the water’s edge
and released him,
gave him back
to the sea.
The next day I found him lying on the pebbles.
The sea had rejected him,
spat him out,
just as he had spat out my food offerings.
I carried him back,
in my shoe again
and put him
into the bell jar.
I’m older now and when I look at him,
I’m wise enough to know
that he is no seahorse,
but not wise enough
to know his name.
Only that the sea rejected him,
spat him out,
as he had rejected me.
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Light Journal and So It Goes. Find Lynn at: Poetry – Lynn White and Facebook .
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