‘Sunset on Kepler-22b’, Christina Sng

Illustration © 2019 Toeken

 [ Harbour Sunset, © 2019 Toeken ] Harbor sunset—
The gray whale clouds
Soundlessly drift by

Reminding me of
The summers we spent
By the beach

You coaxing me
Onto the black
Obsidian sand;

I, convinced
It would swallow me

Of course
I was only 2 when
My phobia first surfaced.

The alien feel
Of this substrate
Beneath my tiny feet—

Yet you never gave up,
Taking me there

Year after year
While I stood an inch
From the sand

Weeping, while
You coaxed me gently,
Holding my hand,

Even as the cancer
Took bites of you
From inside

And consumed
Your once-vibrant spirit
Till it was gone.

So here I stand,
Facing my old nemesis,
The beach, the sand,

With you again,
Me holding you this time
In an urn,

Your final wish—
To return you
To the emerald sea,

The sea you loved so much.
The cradle of life, you called it.
Our home.

I take slow deep breaths
Holding on to you,
Over and over

Till the fear dissipates
Like ashes in the wind
And I exhale,

Thinking of you,
Taking my first step
Onto the sand.

© 2019 Christina Sng

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