Our vacation, yours and mine

i felt the sand, hot and grainy,
endless discomfort beneath my toes
and bathing suit

you felt the promise of a sand castle,
majestic and grand,
awaiting your touch and
patiently carted buckets of sea water

i heard the metallic buzzing
of a too-loud refrigerator
in the house we rented alongside the beach

you heard the ice clunking regularly
into the freezer,
keeping cold a fresh box of Popsicles

i saw another day
of vacation ebbing away

you saw the stars and a silver moon’s sliver
appearing like a twinkly gift overhead

i smelled fish
dead, stinky,
just beneath the pier

you smelled the charcoal
we would soon light
to grill the fish you were just about to catch

i tasted tranquility
eluding us once again
as tires ground pavement beneath our deck

you tasted the chance
to make more new friends,
running to shout from the window,
“look mama, they have kids!”

For Olivia
Judith Ann Hillard
6 July 2000