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If I stand here long enough I’ll be like that rock with the sand sucked round it. Perhaps the seaweed will stick to me like waxy hair but longer like Thompson and Thomson in the Tintin capers. Will I die standing up or will I fall of exhaustion and die as my head hits the rock that I want to be like?

 

If I carry a smaller rock to the edge of that drop, tie a rope between it and my neck, and jump with the rock cradled in my arms, a deafening splash will race across these still waters in ripples and sound waves, sending shocks of seagulls shrieking into the air. But I have no wish to disturb the peace.

 

If I step beyond the sea-line, which silently creeps and bulges its way up the sand, I could slide the water over me, like an old silk dress, and swim towards the opposite shore and, calculating I’ll have fifteen minutes, on a good day, before my blood freezes over and my strength is gone, I’ll still be in the Gulf Stream when I sink, my body breaking up between here and Scapa Flow.

 

If I watch the gannet swoop and dive, a fish bucking in its mouth as it takes to the air, I will know the careless trade of life, be thankful for my choices, and tiptoe home for tea.

 

 

Sue Reid Sexton

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