You, my daughter, face the horizon
of these California mountain sides,
sitting in a wooden chair
and brushing your hair to the South.
First you fan it out from the center,
the tips reach to touch all of the beaches,
and then you gather it sternly and
twist it taut into the perfect bun.
Today you will dance while the gulls
fly over sandcastles whose moats
melt away with every
crash of stone cold saltwater wave.
Today you will laugh as the foam lips of ocean
lap back, and forth and back again.
The coastal seasides have got their work
cut out for them as they continue
bidding nature’s call,
and being beautiful simply because
it is what the miles of beaches
do best in our observant eyes.
But only after shadowed under you,
my child, who spins and washes
nimble legs across shiny floorboards.
It all lies sacrificially under you,
waving graceful arms and
pooling in quick circles,
gliding that ballerina glide.
They were the dances that had been
best left to the salty winds of Earth
and the tides from gravity’s most
difficult school for students.
Jeremy Szuder (he/him) lives in a tiny apartment with his wife, two children and two cats. He works in the evenings in a very busy restaurant, standing behind a stove, a grill, fryers and heating lamps, happily listening to hours of hand selected music and conjuring ideas for new art and poetry in his head. When his working day ends and he enters his home in the wee hours, he likes to sit down with a glass of wine and record all the various words and images that bear fruit within his mind. Jeremy Szuder only sets the cage doors free when the work begins to pile up too high. In this life, Szuder makes no illusions of being a professional artist in any way, shape, or form.