Anna at Low Tide
Anna was made of the ocean. She fostered a sense of softness like the ripples of the waves at night, and could conjure the strength of the sea at high tide.
Her hair, a matted canvas of the beach, and her feet and shins forever a painted mosaic of dried sand. Her footprints permanently imprinted on Momma’s linoleum kitchen floor. To remain there, as we would take turns sweeping against the shiny finish at footprints that no longer existed.
She would remind us that she didn’t belong to the land. That the moon and the sea brought her to us one night, a gift, and that soon they would request that she come back. To return amongst the coral.
On nights when I lose balance and crave her next to me, I lick my lips just to taste the salty remanent of her kisses still lingering amongst the cracks in my skin. My mind fills with images of her in the water, bathed in the night, her body forming the milky foam that hovers in the breaks of each wave. I envied the sea in those moments, how she allowed herself to be given up so easily to its desires. A privilege I longed to be granted. Instead we stood at a distance watching her, thanking the moments she pulled us in.
Sometimes when Momma thinks all the world is asleep, I look out my window and find her walking along the beach. Although she will never say it aloud, I think she hopes that one day the sea and the moon will bring Anna back to her. That she will find her washed up along the shore, only to bring her home and nurture her with the strength of the land.
About the Author: Hillary Fink is a writer living in New York’s Hudson Valley. She writes short stories and poetry, and has been previously published in Strange Foot and Akashic Books. She is the founder of the literary and arts publication, Ink & Voices.