we came to this place many times before–
It was Bob’s favorite place,
a mere three hours from Arleta,
but now the distance is greater
in more ways than one.
Now we have come here again, he and I
and my Canadian friends who came to support me
and marvel at the wonder of the sea and surf,
a full moon and high tides,
but RF has been reduced to a box containing ashes
so that late at night on the 8th of February, 2012,
we cut open the sealed bag
and slowly I poured his ashes into the rushing waves;
The sea was reaching out, greedily,
snatching powdered ashes from my hands
as I contemplated how twenty-six years
came to an end on the Pier at Pismo,
the boardwalk where we had strolled
together so many times in life
but now only one of us is moving on.
I had been tied to a box of ashes and felt
the weight of him lift high and then
higher. He has been freed.
It was an ending for both of us and a new
beginning for each of us as well.
Sandra Lee Smith
In Memory of Robert Peter Fend,
September 22, 2011