Yarmouth County

It’s another pea-soup foggy day in Yarmouth and
I watch as my young son climbs up
large rocks with my father.
He holds on tightly to Daniel’s small hand,
the same way he did to me when I was a child.

One of the clearest memories I have of my father is of

us walking together on the vast sand dunes of Mavilette Beach.
On Sunday afternoons we’d come back from fishing at Cape St. Mary’s
and we’d beach comb looking for interesting looking stones.

We’d roam the sand and often find flotsam resting on the shoreline
and I would search for dulse to give my mother to fry with the fish we caught.
I’d sometimes try to pop the red seaweed into my mouth and
my father would scold me for trying to eat it without washing it
but I’d try to sneak in a bite when he wasn’t watching.

I turn to the sound of Daniel laughing
and he waves to me.
My son tries running
but my father’s firm grip holds him back.
Making their way towards me my
father stumbles and
loses his footing on the rocks, only for a second.
Daniel grabs his shaking hand as my
father regains his balance and
lets out an uneasy laugh.

They join me as I sit with my legs
dangling over a small cliff
overlooking the water on Cape Forchu.
The lighthouse scans the rocks and the ocean
as we inhale the sharp smell of salt and fish.

Daniel is sitting between us and is holding
both our hands.
His small legs kicking the air and
we’re all silent.
I glance at my watch
and mention it’s getting late.
Daniel jumps to his feet and
we both help my father up.

Standing now I see a stone, smooth,
hidden slightly under the sand.
I pick it up and hold it tightly.
It is cold, I warm it and
Slip it in my pocket.

-Greg Santos

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