She came from nowhere and anywhere
Her lively and petite frame gate-crashing my wandering thoughts
As I sat lost in a daydream world in the coffee shop at the beach.

Suddenly staring in amazed fascination and near recognition at her through the window
While she hurtled her slight figure with nonchalant ease
Into the nearest deckchair outside.
Leaning back, tilting her head with coy expectation
Demanding a kiss from the feeble morning sun
Who adhered to her wish of course,
Making her squint with delight,
The brightest of smiles from her shapely face his reward

With the slightest show of annoyance she abruptly removed her sandals
Wriggling her dainty little toes with clear delight,
Slender legs stretched out with relaxed enjoyment of the moment
A ruby colored skirt ever so slightly folded back over her knees
To display the soft curves of near skinny kneecaps
Where her short-nailed little hands then rested
But only for a moment
When they fluttered back to land on the armrests of the chair,
The white of her naked arms broken only by a few tiny veins of blue
Slightly bulging on the inside of two eensy-weensy elbows
And all the while an aura of obviously repressed energy radiating  from her Being,
A sure glimmer of liveliness and wanderlust almost at breaking point
Begging to be released at the slightest sign of possible escape,
Wanting to get out and play carefree on the merry-go-round of life's playground

As if sensing the intensity of my unabashed and spellbound gaze,
She turned her beautiful face towards me and looked me straight in the eye
The brown pools of innocence that were her eyes flickering for just a moment
As if she recognized me
As if she could read my mind
Her sensitive lips parting slightly
As if to say "hello"...
But she let the moment pass

And then he arrived and called her from behind
And she jumped up and raced towards him,
Kissing him full on the mouth with no pretense or inhibition
Just pure joy and abundant love...

And he gently took her hand,
And as they walked away
She performed a brief dance in the sand,
A fairy-tale dance meant for my eyes only
And she looked back at me only once
Fleetingly, almost as if she did not want me to forget,
And suddenly she was gone...

And I felt the nostalgic fluttering of my heart
And my mind reached out to yesteryear
And I remembered her so clearly then,
How I yearned to hold her just one more time...

And I heeded the urge that I could no longer stop
And I started to cry,
Allowing the tears to flow unashamedly
The napkin too small
The heartache too big,
There in the tiny coffee shop at the beach

And in the far reaches of my whimpering Soul
I unwrapped the memories of her
Her love that knew no boundaries
Her innocence that is nothing less than pure
Her kind Being that is a divine gift from God

She too was a mere ten years old then
When I was the dad
It was me who picked her up then,
Where she sat
On the deckchair
At the little coffee shop
On the beach

And suddenly I was left behind
With only the faded memories
And the tender feelings
And the raw emotions
And the cold coffee
And the lonely tables
And the empty deckchair

In the little coffee shop
On the beach...

* This poem is dedicated to the one and only daughter I ever had

Published by Lukie Pieterse