Sea Change

The water's breach into the shore
was like forgetfulness eroding memory.

The waves kept coughing up long ropes of weeds
till they lay on the beach in snarled skeins.

Everything lovely and unique,
the white shore sparkling in the sun,

the myriad colored shells, the speckled sands,
was lost to sight and touch under the muck,

and it was impossible to tell if it was gone
or just waiting for the seaweeds to wash away.

But they went nowhere. Flung by waves,
they sunk in pools of seawater. More sand washed up.

The weeds rotted, filling the air with stink.
The damage was done: ahead, decay, then new life.