Years and miles evaporate
like the morning’s ocean fog where
the strong, bright gleam of
friendship holds true.
Holds true like trees that have
weathered decades of sun as we
weathered our own wearying
waves of life, lapping at the edge
of our friendship, threatening
to erode the years of tears
and laughter, the breaking
In between we hold on, reach
out past the yesterdays touching this
day as we raise high our glasses,
crystal etching the air, the sound
like a chime announcing
we are still here.
I threw myself at roaring rolls
of foam and froth, abandoned
my limbs skyward as I jumped
the tops of broken, bowing
breakers, exploded in laughter,
surprised after all these years that
I still know how to dive when needed,
that my body remembers the bounce
and bob of moving water and most
of all, recalls the healing taste of salt,
the wondrous sky-blaze balm
that is the sun.
The melodious midnight insistence
of cricket backdrops my sleep.
I drift into memories of summer
nights when this accompaniment
was the only sound, a lullaby
for my youthful self; I rest
with a song.
-c. Jody Lee Collins 2017
Every summer I have a chance to visit Southern California, the land where I grew up. I spend days and evenings with family and friends, enjoying the rich, singular experience of a place that is buried deep in my bones. My mind is always flooded with memories when I return and, as usual, poured out into words.