Matt Ullman

Rookie (9-22-1971 / Chicago)

The Man Parts the Water Poem by Matt Ullman

The man parts the water with a simple stone,
turning when the laughter
of a child retraces the shattered waves.
The man remembers with a smile
the days when he walked the shore,
dancing with silver-eyed seagulls, and he

was always looking ahead as he
stands and tilts releasing stone,
watching it sail through the misty shore.
The child parts the water with shrieking laughter,
and dreams about the day he will knowingly smile
as his cocked man-hand reaches the stormy waves.

Watching the moon pull the scornful waves
that kick the sand onto the shore, now he’s
the ghost of a child that stands with a smile.
He parts the water with a simple stone,
listening to the moon’s blue shaken laughter
at a man awaiting his golden hour upon the murky shore.

The grains whisper into the wind. And the shore
is crowded with memories of waves,
filling a young boy’s face with laughter.
It permeates the darkness, yet he
still craves the stone
to bring the man’s euphoric smile.

Caught in a moment without laughter or smiles,
walking along the shore
he wishes upon a simple stone
for another chance to play and frolic in waves.
The child sees his reflection with an anxious smile, and he
becomes a man between the laughter.

And he will always remember the laughter,
and he will always long for an innocent smile
of waiting for the day that unknowingly he
could never return to the shore.
Churning as it breaks the waves,
the past is left in simple stone.

But for now there is laughter upon the shore,
riding along the whispering waves,
the child’s future still a simple stone.

(- for Nicolas Mathew)

Submitted: Monday, December 11, 2006
Edited: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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