Jessica Havens

Coastal Childhood


The wind blows in from the Gulf

filling the children’s lungs

The sun makes their eyes tear

as they innocently look up at the gulls

The clouds are white brush strokes

against a too-blue sky

The water hides secrets

in surf tossed sand and seaweed


The adults say the sand is made of shells

they are broken to bits

The children explore

a place the sea left behind at low tide,

The sand is moulded

into a landscape of canyons and marine life

The tide line is full

of sand dollars, crab’s shells and seaweed


The sea returns

and the children run to higher ground

The seawall holds them high

as they taunt the oncoming waves,

The first crash

sprays them a bit,

The second crash

sends spray further,

The third crash

soaks them

and, laughing, they head home.




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