Trapped by the Undertow by Susan Rouchard

The water beckons; I launch my body into waves.
Below my feet, sharp rocks and sea urchins,
in every nook, glow purple.

Salt coats my arms. I slice through the ocean’s realm.
Rainbow fish gleam, caught in a puddle
of spilling sun rays.

My breath squeezes in, out. Water drapes me.
I face an infinite swell. Muscles become taut,
pluck me back.

I turn my head towards chattering sand, as the beach
shimmers in sky. The undertow’s tentacles grasp
my legs. Deep air catches in my chest.

Tingles burn my fingertips. Darts run down and cramp
my calves. A cry billows in my ribs, shoots
through my lips in silence.

I need to fight this leaden body. Edges seep up unseen
and tease my toes. Wicked urchins poke
at my distress.

A wave breaks, drenches my head, I sputter.
I am pinned down onto a rolling seabed.
I gasp.

At last, my feet find two sandy crannies. I hobble out,
fear still beating like bat wings
between my ears.

About The Author

Susan Baury Rouchard is a Franco-British writer. Her publications to date include a short story, The Rodeo, in Scribble, Park Publications, December 2012; a poem, My Father in my Bones, Paragram Anthology, Remember, December 2014; two further poems, The Piano and Foothold, ORBIS, Summer Issue 2015. She began her writing blog in 2013, where she regularly publishes short stories, poems and extracts from her novel in progress.

Bandit Fiction is an entirely not-for-profit organisation ran by passionate volunteers. We do our best to keep costs low, but we rely on the support of our readers and followers to be able to do what we do. The best way to support us is by purchasing one of our back issues. All issues are ‘pay what you want’, and all money goes directly towards paying operational costs.

9 replies »

  1. I can feel waves and sand on my bare shoulders. your words sent me in the middle of the tides with you.

    and this part “fear still beating like bat wings
    between my ears.”…

    Now we have words for what fear feels like.

    Outstanding!

    Like

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