The Man Who Made Sand Castles

The Man Who Made Sand Castles

It was a hot summer night
Still nearly ninety, I’d say
When out back of Giovannis
The Bluesman sat down to play
He pulled up his crate
Took a sip from his flask
“This here’s my med-cin”
“In case someone happens to ask”

He started a story
That we’d never heard
We’re the folks of the street
And we followed each word
It’s a tale of James Withers
A man in need of a hand
But to us on the street
He was the Sand Castle Man

The bluesman strummed gently
He didn’t want the words to be lost
For this was a story
That had a hell of a cost
You see, James the sand man
Lost a life to the sea
His grandson, young James
Drowned and died …only three

Each day James went down
With his grandson in tow
They’d make castles together
They’d make some fast and some slow
One day the pair
were out at the end of the pier
when a rogue wave hit hard
And took what James held most dear

His grandson was swept out
Lost at sea ….never found
They searched for three weeks
But the poor boy was drowned
James kept a vigil
Every day on the beach
He’d look out on the water
His heart out of reach

He kept making sand castles
As he did with young James
With shells and old driftwood
And he gave each castle names
He’d have non-existent armies
Fight non existent wars
In his hard packed sand castles
He carved windows and doors

There was nonexistent dragons
In pools by the sea
Guarding nonexistent princesses
Who no one could see
There were turrets and moats
And each day he’d build one
To be lost to the tide
As the days work was done

Each day a new castle
Each day a new war
But , nobody knew
What he was building them for
The tide would come in
And would sweep it away
All that hard work
Gone at the end of the day

But, next morning he’d show up
Build one more for the tide
With armies nonexistent
To flow away for a ride
People would watch him
Make the castles of sand
With imaginary soldiers
In imaginary lands

The bluesman sang soft
Took a sip once again
From the flask on his hip
It’s just med-cin
The crowd didn’t stir
We were like moths to the flame
As we heard the bluesman
finish his tale about James

I asked him one morning
If he ever would end
Building castles of sand
He said, Bluesman, my friend
I know that each castle
Will be washed out to see
And I hope that my grandson
Gets a message from me

I make each sand castle
Like we both used to do
I come back every day
And start another anew
It helps with the closure
I send my soul to the sea
And I hope that my grandson
Knows their for him made by me

He finished and thanked us
And we went on our way
All of us changed some
From what the bluesman did play
Next time I’m out wandering
And see the castles of sand
I’ll know what he’s building
Now…that I understand

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