Lesson on the beach

For my mother

In that classroom beyond the school,
the ground was Periperi’s beach,
the walls floated, no end in sight,
the blackboard was the blue of the sea.

The boys and girls sat on the sand
and waited for the lesson to begin.

The sound of voices spilt into the wind.
The silence, there, had the sound of soft waves.
The sweat of the sun spelling beams of slow light…

No chalk. No pencils. No letters.

Placing a hand on her brow,
the teacher shaded her eyes.
Her gaze passed through the thick glass panes:
parallel twin windows in gold frames.

She studied the horizon, seeing afar,
pointed to a white dot, a light in the middle of the sea,
a sailing boat – flame that drew our attention.

Our eyes followed her knowing finger,
while her soft voice taught us what is simple:

“Look at the little boat. Slowly, slowly, it will disappear.”

And so it would be. The wind blew the sail on the blue blackboard,
the water gently erased the pinpoint-boat…

For those who sit and watch as ships and sailboats set on the horizon,
like the sun after six, every straight line is a curve.

The erased boat had not sunk,
but slipped over the curve of the sphere.
Round it was, round it is, this our Earth.

(Whoever disappears still strolls around the circle…)

I was one of these boys. And this woman was my mother.

Beyond mother, beyond ocean,
on the other side of the horizon,
from the shore of the island where I live,
I try to see this beach.

But every straight line is a curve, clouding the reach of our eyes.