Claire Keyes
Devereux Beach

If I remain parked here long enough, facing the beach.
If the waves roll in to crash in foaming curls, the sea
gray-blue and inviting only to a dog who dares the surf,
then skitters back, playing its own game. If raindrops
hit the windshield, then slide down, slick-silver ribbons.
If I listen to Celtic music on the radio and think of my mother,
just a girl crossing this same ocean when the only way out
of Ireland was by sea. If it's still that girl who engages me,
fatherless at two, at ten motherless. If it's that thirteen year-old,
a lady's companion, her passage paid. If she was pushed
to approach the unknown, resisted, shook its hand, shivered.
If she was brave. I don't know. If I'm now a year older
than she was when she died: matron, wife, mother of eight.
If the mind insists on imagining its origins. If it comes to this—
a beach, waves pulsing towards shore, driven to reach this place.