Summer Day at Huntington Beach
I tick with alarm clock worry.
My sister is afraid of nothing.
Not the dark or death or
Jay Preslan down the street
who pushes kids in front of cars.
Look at her run into the water
while I stand squinting.
She doesn’t pinch her nose
to dive under. Doesn’t pause
before splashing back
strange splashing kids. Doesn’t heed
the lifeguard’s megaphoned warning
to stay away from the ropes.
Lake Erie grabs at the shore,
slurps it greedily in foaming waves.
I picture monstrous goggly-eyed fish
lurking under the pier,
ships skudded in the depths,
lost sailors forever unburied.
I inhale the curved scent
of suntan lotion, clench my toes
in the sand, stand still. Far out,
bobbing in foil-bright waves,
my sister is another being entirely,
straining at the boundary ropes
trying to see all the way to Canada.
Originally published by Silver Birch Press. Find more poems in my collection, Tending.