V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





We walk down to the beach
carrying our belongings
like refugees, and settle down
among stripes and polkadots

in the rented shade of an umbrella,
facing the bottle-green waves,
their crashing noise an excuse for us
not to talk.  I start thinking

about the wind and the sea
and their strange marriage,
how powerless a storm would be
without the ocean's wide-open runway—

and how I'd miss the whiff of freedom
in clothes and pillowcases
that I sometimes dry outside
to conjure up childhood.

When it's time to leave,
I beat at the wind
that bulges the blanket
we lift up together, both of us

laughing now, loud enough
for the other to hear,
the way I heard my parents laugh
on summer afternoons

swinging me in the blanket
from side to side,
high, higher,
into the sky

but then, too soon,
much too soon
sliding me out,
to fold the day away.

© by Marianne Poloskey


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