I Can Smell The Ocean

As a child in my mama’s womb

Topanga at 65.

Born I would say,

“I can smell the ocean.”

Halfway through the Santa Monica Mountains.

Reflecting on how I can never leave these mountains.

Hitchhiking as a teenager

Or high in the back of a car thinking,

“Do these guys know where they are going?”

Fast turns and endless nights.

Foggy mornings when we ditched school,

Taking a slow ride to the beach.

Riding my white mustang through

The Topanga fire trails,

Both of us swimming in a river

Near the end of those trails.

Long journeys looking for my dad,

Who had dementia yet hitchhiked,

To a bar on the Pacific Coast Highway.

How did he get there?

The police brought him back.

He grew up near the Santa Monica Pier.

I can never leave these Mountains,

Joining the San Fernando Valley

To the Pacific Ocean.

I see old burnt trees,

From those hideous fires,

I smell green plants and flowers returning,

From the blessing of a hearty rainstorm.