A sunny day along the shore

A beach of white sand

Patrons lounging, playing, forgetting

What danger or responsibility means.


The waves pound against the beach

Malicious and snarling they taper

So that small children chase them back

Giggling somatically, unaware of it all.


They didn’t see you standing too far out

They didn’t see as the wave emerged

Bearing its rabid foamy teeth

It swallowed you whole.


In a torrent of slimy green and salt

You are shuttled towards the coast

Between the legs of bathers.

One firm grasp was all you needed.


You cling to an ankle, they scream

A monster in the seas!

Shaken loose, your ballast is gone!

Alas, the riptide draws you back!


Like a creature submerged

Its invisible hand drags you

Out into the turbulent depths

Where nothing but water roams.


You try to scream

loud as the damned

But your voice emerges

As playful bubbles.


You twist and turn

Trying to regain control.

Onlookers see a shadow.

What a large fish that is!


The air limited as it was

Is spent and the darkness creeps in

Filling your head with a black ooze

Thick like tar.


Alone in the unknown depths

With only Riptide’s pull,

Your last breath

A secret.


Neither the beaming sun

Nor the lounging guests

Or the jovial children

See your struggle.


Instead, they celebrate despite you,

Drink soda, built sand monuments

And flirted promiscuously

It was a holiday after all.


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