Chance Harbour Nova Scotia 1949
The warm sea breeze smells salty.
We approach the beach at the low spot,
where the cliffs give way to crabgrass and
magical sand that can become castles,
vast excavations, treasure troves of
mother of pearl shards, fresh mussels
with their tiny purple pellets, and promises
of pirate jewels and ancient coins.
Wonderland shrinks and expands
to the ancient heartbeat of the moon.
We run electric along the gleaming edges
where sand meets icy surf, now splashing,
now impossibly airborne, skipping over
sharp shell shards, now skidding ankle
deep, falling to all fours, the receding water
whimsically drags away the supporting sand.
On rainy days, we play Monopoly like addicts
in opium dens, unwilling to leave for food.
Other days, race along dirt roads, reading
clues, hounds that never catch the fox.
One day late in August, as the gale roars outside
and surf thunders onto the rocky cliff base,
we sit by the fireplace, lighting matches
on the fun-toughened soles of our feet.