A Gold Coast Beach
Bright yellow rippling sand,
crisscrossed by gull tracks,
is interrupted by well-oiled sunbathers,
children wielding buckets and spades,
and waves that come and go
like trains at a busy station.
I first came here at the age of seven,
trailing behind my mother.
She wore a hat with a brim.
My head was as bare as my feet.
She went looking for a place to redden her legs.
I built a clumsy castle with a moat of foam.
And then I was eight and I was here.
And nine. And ten. And so on.
Every time with my mother until,
that is, I was old enough
to come on my own.
It’s like an old photo album
that begins with pictures of family,
then portraits of one or the other,
or groups that are mostly just friends,
before it stops all together,
and the rest of the pages are blank.
I smile wistfully for the camera.
I hear no click.