at Elbow Beach--
the ocean is swimming pool blue--
so clear that you can still see your toes
when you've waded out as far as you can go.
The waves at Elbow Beach are gentle mostly
but occasionally a giant one rolls in
almost in slow motion--
almost like liquid glass.
If you have your back to it,
you might not realize it's coming till the last second
and the wave washes over your head
and you're spitting out salt water
which you didn't mean to drink.
When my wife and I get out of the ocean,
a wave follows us back to our cruise ship.
We return home
and the wave is right behind us.
It accompanies me to my office
and comes home with me at night.
Sometimes the wave sleeps by the fireplace.
At other times I open the bedroom closet
and the wave jumps out,
surprising both me and my wife.
When we're out and about,
the wave spots some innocent bystanders
and washes over them,
leaving them speechless, spluttering, and a bit confused.
Eventually the wave gets homesick
and books a flight to Bermuda.
It flies coach,
gets a middle seat
and feels uncomfortable the whole way back.
When the plane lands
the wave boards a bus
and rides back to Elbow Beach
where it crosses the sand and slides back into the ocean.
We never hear from the wave again.
Herb Guggenheim's poems and short stories have appeared in a number of magazines, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and Gargoyle. He's been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award. Mr. Guggenheim's rhymed poem "Countdown" received an honorable mention in the 2015 Writer's Digest annual writing competition. He is the author of Sunset at the Hotel Mira Mar (Infinity Publishing, 2011), and the chapbook, Strange Encounter at the Shakespeare Motel (Finishing Line Press, 2015).