The Sign on the Beach

There's a sign on the beach
A plain piece of rusty metal.
I do not dare to look its way
Why? I don't know at all.

I never saw what it says.
But how could have I?
Can't read the language,
Won't come close to it.
Won't walk or swim to its right.
What if it says that I could die?

I read things the way they sound to me.
I read things the way I fear they could be.
I read things the way they will never be.
What if I don't understand?

What if it says "don't litter"?
How do I know that the litter is not me?
What if it says "don't go too far"?
How do I know how far it is for me?

I approach it sneakily from the back...
And then run away as soon as I can...
And then think about it as much as I should...
And then think about it more than I should...
Do I think about it too much?

I will not come close
I will run away
Not come back for many years
I will run away
Not making sense
What does the sign say
Maybe it isn't even bad
I will run away
I will hide
Not making sense

One day, I will understand!
One day, I must understand!
Until then, I prefer not to know what it says,
And beat myself over what it says.
What if it's gone by the time I come back?

The Sign On the Beach

The Sign On the Beach

In this poem, the protagonist is concerned about a plain, metal sign on a beach, although the said sign may be absolutely insignificant. The protagonist is excusing themselves for obsessing over the sign, but at the same time shaming themselves for fearing it. There is a fear of finding out what the sign says and the fear of never finding out what the sign says.

This may or may not be one of the protagonist's first paranoid thoughts, but such thoughts expressed at home result in mockery on almost daily basis and are therefore supressed. Being paranoid over a sign on the beach makes up for a whole year of paranoid thoughts.

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