Breakers by Bobby Steve Baker

the child
prefers to be alone
with the furious flaming waves that spark
and lick the sky
followed like thunder by a succulent undertow
no time for nonsense
but in periodic calm he gives perfunctory recognition
to the muffled gurgles and chirps of the shore mother

the mother up to her ankles and no more always
yelling nonsense like too deep too far come back
he cups his ear as Admiral Nelson held the scope
to his blind eye
and led the British fleet to victory
equally no reason to heed the shore mother
distracting to listen to
there are tasks at hand

diving into breaking waves near twice his height
giving up control to each disorienting choreography
from the sea god
always the desperate urge to live
come up again and breathe that life defining breath
the child wants just the chance
to question that next breath

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