From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore


Poem Commentary

Based on a true story that I survived.

From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore

When I sit on the sand in front of the shore,
my mind cannot ignore all that there is before me.
I think of the grains of sand beneath me,
the waves and sounds before me.

I think to myself, it goes on forever.
Energy, ever flowing, never stopping, always growing.
The power of the surf when a storm is on the way,
never ceases to amaze me when it seems to be such a clear day.

I watch the people around me and it is so easy to see,
the ones that are new here and the ones that will always be here.
The parents who are aware of the sudden danger that can be there.
Then there are the others that have no clue as to how quickly        things can change.

One couple nearby are suddenly alert.
They look around and notice something amiss.
Where is he? Where is he? They ask themselves.
Then the call goes out and continues to repeat.
"Robert! Robert! Where are you?"

The people in the area all start to notice and look around.
They know how quickly a child can be pulled away.
People join the terrified parents in the
search for the missing boy.

"His name is Robert. He has blond hair, is 5 years old.
Oh my God. Where is he?" the Mother screams!
The panic spreads from parent to parent,
from family to family.

They all look up and down the beach.
All heads turning this way and that.
Some run to the boardwalk to see if he wandered off.
Others search the rough surf for a sign or a clue.

The people familiar to the shore
know of the most dangerous thing.
It can only be seen by a well trained eye.
It's a special kind of currant,
it's called a rip tide.

The parents are in tears, screaming his name.
"Robert, Robert, come to Mommy!"
"Oh my God. I can't believe this is happening!
He was just there with his blue shovel and pail."

The surf rises and another wave crashes.
Something is spotted a quick flash of color.
A blue bucket is washed up with the wave.
Roberts Father is searching the surf nearby.
When the small blue pail catches his eye.

The parents’ eyes lock with terror.
Realization of what could be happening finally hits.
You can see their hearts breaking with
their thoughts of the horror to come.
The emotions are so raw,
very plain to see on each of their faces.

The father dives yet again under the waves.
He silently prays "Please God let me find him before it's too late!"
His breath is short as he gasps for his next breath.

Mom is hysterical at this point.
Screaming and crying without any control.
When she suddenly feels a strong,                                                 but gentle grip on her shoulder.
She reels about thinking the worst.
Before her is a kind and beautiful face.
A stranger holding her beautiful child.

She grabs her son with grateful joy!
"Oh, God, thank you!! Thank you."
The tears continue on,
this time relief spreads across her face.

The father then arrives from his ocean search.
He asks "Robert where have you been?"
"Mommy and I were both so scared."
The boy is surprised to see his parents in this state.
He says "I went to the bathroom like a big boy!"
"I'm a big boy now Mommy and Daddy aren't you proud of me?"

The stranger who found him fades away,
unnoticed by all but myself and one other.
We smile a knowing smile to one another.
We have seen others like him before.                                                                                                   

The Mother tells the Father about the kind man that found him.
She turns to thank him, but he is nowhere to be seen.
There on the ground were a man’s footprints.
They can only be seen walking toward where the family now stood.

The parents lock eyes with their son sandwiched between them.
They understand what had just happened.
God answered their prayers by sending an angel.
To remind them of the precious gift he had given them.

From that day on they kept a closer watch,
for things can happen in a blink of an eye.
They never forgot the angel that came that day,
or the powerful and loving master that send him their way.

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mamasan commented on From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore


For sure a miracle on the Jersey shore and I too have witnessed a miracle in N.J. Not at the shore but on a highway and there he was all three feet of him wearing a sailor hat and crossing the busy highway when a man appeared and scooped him up and brought my nephew to us at the barbeque we were attending at a nearby cabin. I believe I believe this is a powerful story and testimony that angels tread where mortals fear to living traffic.....



I am so glad that you had your nephew safely returned. Family gatherings can somtimes be overwhelming to adults and children alike. I'm glad there was an angel watching over him. God does work in mysterious ways.

ccslim commented on From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore


I started this in a mellow state, then brought to a panic, then eased into a stupor of thankfulness! A wonderful write!



When I started to write that It was meant to be a calm meditative type of peaceful contemplation. Then memory kicked in, followed by the dreams of my heart and beliefs. It was a fun and surprising write. Thanks for reading and commenting.

StandingBear commented on From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore


A beautiful work you've created from life's experience. Reminds me of a time back when i discovered a brother and sister in over their heads in high water here, pulled them out and got them to show me where they lived. No parents or anyone would answer the door when i dropped them out.



Maybe you were their angel on earth. People can be you know. Thank you kindly for your input.

Rapple commented on From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore


I love the shore, but boy that was kind of scary. I like the touch of the Angel you added. It made me think miracles can happen.



It was VERY SCARY. Did I add the angel?? Who knows....

EG3RED commented on From peaceful to panic on the NJ shore





That is very true. Life is far too short at times

To have great poets there must be great audiences too.

Walt Whitman, American Poet (1819-1892)