Norbert Hirschhorn

Toddler on the Beach

It's his muscular bottom that catches the eye,
powering stumpy legs as he assaults the sand,

high-stepping crab holes like a sailor
on shore leave. The sloshy tides

remind him of life as sea mammal
snorkeling the amnion: he has no dread

to head into that greater sac.
He would walk to the horizon if let,

water and sky wholly within his orbit.
He owns everything: pebble, shell, nodular

kelp, jazzy froth spraying from his palm.
His joy is the particular, the particle, he lives

entirely within his skin.
And so, when a gull hovers, slants, uprushes

behind, he knows he too can arch, flip,
sail off: a kite, a cloud -

gone, but still visible.


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