Peter Serchuk


At the funeral for his surfer son who’d fallen
from a wall, I joined the line of mourners who
shuffled forward with nothing wise to say.
His eyes were dry, a lifetime of tears exiled
for another day. On the beach below, the surf
was up, rolling hills of green and blue.
A single board stood upright in salute while
his son’s friends paddled out and glided in,
their wet suits like seal skin liquid in the sun.
When my turn came to share his grief, we each
reached for the other’s shoulders, locked eye to eye.
“You don’t have to be so tough,” I whispered behind
his mask. He nodded as if I’d complimented his tie.
“It’s a beautiful day to be on a board,” he answered,
as if he was still grateful being alive.

Peter Serchuk

has contributed poetry to Boulevard, Poetry, Denver Quarterly, North American Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other magazines and has been featured on on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. His collections include Waiting for Poppa at the Smithtown Diner (University of Illinois Press), All That Remains (WordTech Editions), and, most recently, The Purpose of Things (Regal House Publishing).