Summer on Salisbury Beach,
a week at my Aunt’s cottage,
adults worked all day,
Two cousins and I left on our own.
At ten years old unfamiliar,
but desired, days of freedom.
Instructions: “You can go to
the beach but stay near lifeguards.”
Our unknowing babysitters,
who paid little attention,
more focused on bathing beauties,
applying sunscreen, on blankets nearby.
We rode waves so rough
they slammed us into the strand,
filled our bathing suits with sand.
We arose coughing and sputtering
from swallowed salt water
then raced through the surf
to catch another wild ride.
When bored, we walked
to jetty of large, black rocks,
leapt from boulder to boulder,
scraped hands and feet
on slippery, rough surfaces,
while sea pounded through
gaps in rock pile below.
In evening we would wander home,
fall asleep early with expectations
for another day that
would be fully ours.
Published in Ibbetson Street #39, June 2016
Announcement: Lainie will read poetry at The Whittier Home and Tapestry of Voices 18th annual collaborative reading of the poetry of and inspired by John Greenleaf Whittier on Sunday, August 14 from 3-4:30 PM. The poetry reading will take place in the Victorian garden of the Whittier Home Museum, 86 Friend street, Amesbury, MA.