To join again the waiting sea
Copyright 2008 Jim Penny
Word count: 354
He leaned, propped by arms tanned from five decades of outdoor labor, on the polished metal of the sloping hood. The reddening streaks of sunset teased the curling grey hair spilling across his weary shoulders. The fading sunlight splashed the same colored hood, reflected into the low hanging willow, and was lost to human eyes. The humid air drifted through the sedge from the tree lined creek he couldn’t see, its brown water sliding without ripple along the unmeasured length of meandering valley, too shallow to deserve the name. The stream evaporated faster than it flowed, and neither the distant sea nor the enveloping atmosphere slowed their immutable and fathomless pace to reckon with any human certitude the accumulation of the droplets unseen.
A younger man by twenty years lifted himself with straightening arms, reaching the curved lip of the right fender, finding his seat by the other. He pushed his bare legs forward, the tender arches of his narrow feet framing the setting sun. He turned the soles forward, the red glow spilling through his flexing toes. The pale light streaked his freckled knees, racing along his outward turned elbows, finding its fate in the eternal shade of the drooping willow. His sun-streaked hair pooled as he arched his back. He cast closed eyes to the waning glow of the ending day, breathing deeply the sweet wet air of this after-work, with-him, before-night evening.
The final light of day flickered beyond a distant pine, and time was gone, leaving the space no longer filled by day and not yet filled by night, a moment passing unseen to the eye cast forward in anticipation, or behind in worry. Yet a moment missed not this day and not this night and not by these two, this one, who by common breath captured, safe for the now, this fleeting moment that shims the penetrating light of day from the all-absorbing darkness of night. Brotherhood slipping one measure further along an unfettered progression, the breaths of the two becoming the breath of the one, warmed air expanding, forming a cloud unseen, drifting timeless toward the waiting sea.