Dayle and Gail

The day Dayle saw Gail
on Boundary Beach Brighton
outside a blue beach hut
Gail had strode past swim-suited
across pebbles
headed towards the sea

Dayle admired
stood upright, shoulders pushed back
spoke in a hushed
awed whisper
to no one in particular
watching Gail wade into the water

Looking on as she cut through the waves
first front crawl
second an elegant breast stroke
onwards and out further
Dayle wondered when she’d stop
until she turned over, onto her back

Gail lay with her eyes closed
arms sailed around in circles
seawater spray sparkled light
Dayle watched wishing he could swim
when at last she finally swam in
he held open a beach towel for her

“I don’t suppose you give lessons?”
“I do.”
“Would you consider …?”
“Yes I would, for sure.”
“How much will it cost?”
“Nothing but time and patience.”

Under Gail, Dayle learned how to swim
although learning late in life meant
he never got to be a strong swimmer
yet were he ever ‘man overboard’ from a small-sized vessel
he could have swum back in a competent manner
to the side and held on until rescue arrived

After the 24th lesson Gail gave Dayle
Dayle proposed marriage
love, romance, companionship
care and understanding
Gail accepted Dayle’s offer
and it’s been 24 years now, they’ve been together

©Brinkinfield “The Ekphrasis Series”

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