The Last Beach House

It sits hollow near the sand
washed up the road where the
other houses look like waddling waders, maybe
clamming, maybe just enjoying the wet.
Old Bill built his bungalow back
in the teens when high tide was still a half-mile out.
Didn’t want the waves to keep
him awake at night, he said.
But still, he walked to the water
every day. He was pushing eighty
when the realization hit him
like a sack of wet mice.
It wasn’t so far to walk now.
Those Antarctic ice sheets must
really be filling up the big tub.
When he clutched his chest
and went to his knees going
out the front door that fine July
morning, his last thought as he
rolled to his back on the
porch where he loved to listen:
At least I didn’t drown.

water house


(water house:; Sandy damage:




About Jim Stewart

Writer at Butt in Chair
This entry was posted in end-of-life, Poem, Science, walking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Last Beach House

  1. Nice texture.touching to ol salts
    Remaining where they were meant
    To ebb n floe as Sea rises without notice
    By the regulators never salted in the misty
    Thank full for smooth passage without the knowing……….eh Heminway

    • narble says:

      It’s kind of an odd poem. We’re building a beach house next year about a half-mile from the salt. I watched an interview with a cheerful scientist talking about the Antarctic ice sheets being “past the point of no return.” As usual, it got me to thinking…

  2. Love old beach houses. Love the beach. Love your poem.

  3. I saw my condo sinking into the Atlantic when I read this.

  4. narble says:

    Actually, the Atlantic would be climbing the walls. The conservative estimate over the next 60 years is three feet. But that is quite significant if you apply Calculus to a three-dimensional coastline. Beach folk don’t have to be crazy, but it helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.