With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach

With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach

I discovered this poem by William Stafford a few years before becoming a father. I remember it striking a chord in me then. I read the poem again after becoming a father…and by the last line I was weeping…

With Kit, Age 7 at the Beach

By William Stafford

We would climb the highest dune,
from there to gaze and come down:
the ocean was performing;
we contributed our climb.

Waves leapfrogged and came
straight out of the storm.
What should our gaze mean?
Kit waited for me to decide.

Standing on such a hill,
what would you tell your child?
That was an absolute vista.
Those waves raced far, and cold.

‘How far could you swim, Daddy,
in such a storm?’
‘As far as was needed,’ I said,
and as I talked, I swam.

via POEM: WITH KIT, AGE 7, AT THE BEACH BY WILLIAM STAFFORD.

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