At a California beach,
the sea grabbed Grandma,
almost ended me.
Near the fierce undertow,
deathly afraid of water
(our Mother told us later),
she slipped off her shoes,
stood a few feet in the water.
Crowded beach,
hundreds of bathers,
shading their eyes from the blinding sun.
The riptide pulled,
grinned evilly under the water,
dragged her down and out,
like the wraith she was.
An Olympic swimmer
saw the disappearance,
plunged, grabbed a foot.
A moment longer
she would have slipped away,
a tale told to no one
I would ever know.

Published in Silver Birch Press