Then that summer, Daniel
But for the dunes
and the tides,
and the changing marsh grass,
whipping out past the point
holding its breath on the turn,
we caught the biggest crab
with blue claws,
in our painted bucket,
and dragged it back to the
community of ice chests and beach chairs,
conquered, stalk eyes waving,
one giant claw testing the air.
Flotsam in the river tide,
goggled like invaders,
we flippered as far as the marsh
held sea beneath us.
All that separateness kept to itself,
until beached, we scattered fiddlers fleeing
before us on the muddy flats.
One fitful gray day, we scale the cliffs
and wander the halls of the ancient hotel,
careful of the maids and billowing curtains.
As king and queen, holding innocent hands
we waltz down the grand ballroom stairs.
Your boy heart finds a secret bell tower and widow’s walk,
and we spend a guiltless afternoon, ageless,
looking out to sea.
Then that summer, Daniel.
He and his shark fin
take the beach by storm,
mayhem in shorts and sunglasses.
We laugh in the dunes until
the tide turns again, and
spiraling stars humming in the sky
make us older by a day,
and curious, and shy.
First published in the Adirondack review