I watched a lifeguard at his work. The summer sun soared high.
The day lay scorched beneath the blaze that hovered in the sky.
A bright white glare was blinding there beside the sea soft waves,
and yet through heat and lengthy hours, he was prepared to save.
I watched as teens came racing by all giggly, wild and free.
They winked and teased to gain his eye, but he surveyed the sea.
A speeding car, a siren shrill, and all heads turned to view,
but he who sat and watched the sea remained to his task true.
The day wore on both calm and safe. No danger reared its head.
No cause for worry or concern, just fun and games instead.
‘Twas almost time to close the beach and send the children home.
His day was over, almost done, he’d soon be all alone.
Then with a start I saw him dive into the stirring sea
and swim straight for a certain spot where none should ever be.
I searched to see if I could find some sign of panicked fright.
No struggling came nor cry for help to indicate such plight.
But still the lifeguard kept his pace. I wondered what he’d seen.
He swam with purpose firmly fixed and eyesight ever keen.
Then all at once he disappeared, and as I watched from land
he suddenly appeared once more, a little child in hand.
With strokes as powerful again as he had used before,
he pulled the child out through the sea and up onto the shore.
No seconds wasted, he began to breathe into the form
that lay there limp and lifeless on that sand so dry and warm.
A crowd now circled ‘round the scene, and each one held his breath.
Surely this poor little child would not be lost to death.
But time marched on and not a hint of stirring life appeared
as this lifeguard labored still, breathing through his fear.
Then a miracle, it seemed, occurred before our eyes.
The child came sputtering to life beneath those azure skies.
This child now lives because there’s one who sits beside the sea
and scans the waters faithfully while we play, safe and free.
Heroes come in many forms, so many ways, and kinds.
I say a prayer now each day for those who guard our lives.
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