At the Water’s Edge

A blue swell pushes across the water to Bolinas. The curving lap a comma between land and sea.

I carried two mermaids in my body and then they came to land. They remember the rolling over and floating and before that, heaven.

Twelve surfers fall and rise, waiting on their boards for a fast right.

At the water’s edge, two small girls shriek when the waves roll in and try to pull them back. Out where the floor drops deep, white sharks hunt.

One young surfer, pushed three feet out of the water, punched a shark hard in the eye and was released. Three tooth holes below the ribs. Helicopter blades cut the sun as he was airlifted away.

I want my daughters to stay at the water’s edge, not venture past the shore break or get pulled out to the sudden, dark trench. They remember the rolling over and floating, foam catching their legs.

Janet Jennings lives in San Anselmo with her husband and twin daughters. For twenty years she owned and ran Sunspire, a natural candy manufacturing company. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Agni Online, Atlantic Review, The Bitter Oleander, Bryant Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Nimrod, Redivider, and Poet Lore, among others.