Monday, June 27, 2016

"Seaside Shadows" by Lauren McBride, Frequent Contributor

Seaside Shadows
Lauren McBride

Striped shadows greet me
on my morning walk -
charcoal lines on glittering sand      
below slatted fences leaning
lazily across seaside dunes.        

By midday, while
others bunch in tight circles
beneath beach umbrellas,
I prefer to wade
in the warm, shallow bay
below an old wooden bridge
where mussels, barnacles,
crabs and sea stars
cling to rough pilings
and the sun cannot find me

until I emerge to squish
through mud for horseshoe crabs,
before racing back
to the outer beach
to ride chilly rushing waves.

Exhausted come evening,
my shadow stretches tall
and drags behind
as I trudge home
with a few cherished
seashells and countless
precious memories.

Poet's Notes: As a child, summer vacation meant a trip to New England to visit relatives and always included at least one day at the beach riding waves and exploring mud flats or tide pools. And so began my love of the ocean, which probably led to my youthful years as a competitive swimmer and my master's degree in marine zoology. At some point, my family discovered the wide beaches and warm blissful waves along the Georgia coast, but my early memories all involve the skin-numbing waters of New England.  I let the changing shadows of a day guide this poem inspired by one of my favorite beaches, Duxbury in Massachusetts (pictured).

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