Ben Osher


As the people walk out of the light
Into the embrace of the sand, the slow rush of the water
It stands there
The line between happiness and mediocrity on the split of the earth and the ocean.
As the torch is lit
A hundred eyes burn, each with a hundred memories
Reflected in the eyes, reflected in the blaze
As the flames touch the cloth
A groan rises from the congregation
On the beach
Eyes become misty
Hands start to shake
Hearts hurt
The night flares
The memories, the memories
No more than moments

    Blood boiling, changing from deep red to yellow and green
    Triumph, looking from the light to the darkness
    Sprinting in the dead of night
    Adrenaline slamming as gravity slingshots a boat around a hard turn
    A hundred hands cracking together at once

These, and a hundred others
Consumed by a fire
Burning in eyes, now misted over
As the flames reach their brightest
The group breaks up
They hold each other tight
Grasping at the moments
Refusing to let go
Of the feelings
They slip away
Through the fingers of the mourners
Like sand through clenched fingers
On a beach

The fire dims
As the cables give
Pain stings the heart anew
Shock, grief
Flung from the burning eyes
The sand stained with tears.
How can we go back?
How can we forget?

It comes down into the water
Finally extinguished
All the feelings
Of the summer
Up in smoke


Copyright © 2002-2010 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2010 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.