From my porch high above the shore,
I watched people by the score.
The eager ones set the pace
For the joggers in the race.
The slower ones did not strive
And seemed glad to be alive.
What a strange sight this procession,
Walking and running with great passion.
What interest draws this parade,
Acting out their games of charade?
Could it be that they come from a desert place,
Where they never felt sea air upon their face?
The smell of salty air brings healing to bear,
And the sound of ocean waves lifts those in despair.
They come as if by migration,
Hoping here to find consolation.
An old man who must have had a stroke,
Was dragging one leg and never spoke.
A mother and a child were looking down,
Picking up sea shells they had found.
A lady with a face wrinkled with despair,
Walked by others as if they were not there.
It’s easy to recognize the lovers,
They walk in pairs, oblivious to others.
Old men and women walk by with a purpose of heart,
Getting out of life all they can before they depart.
Even in the refuge of my lofty nest,
I, the people watcher, am like all the rest.
The solitude of my cozy nook,
Will give way to a hard, inward look.
As I am watching people by the sea,
I ponder this question, “Who is watching me?”

Dean Albritton, November 16, 1997