Rain at the Beach, 1967


When I was a child I spent dove-colored afternoons with my sister, sitting by her side at the kitchen table,
scrubbing Crayola colors onto the pages of a book,
careful to stay within the black lines as I made Underdog’s ears scarlet and Sweet Polly’s dress violet.

Fighting over the periwinkle,
we tore the paper wrappers to insert the nubby tips into the sharpener (“built in!”) on the back of the 64 color box.

My mother sat nearby on the scratchy brown couch,
with her legs propped on the coffee table.
Steam curled from the cup near her feet,
the fruity scent of Constant Comment filling the air as she read or poked a needle through canvas in the dim summer light.

My father snored in his leather recliner,
open book balanced on his ample stomach,
fighting World War II again in his dreams,
As the rain shushed onto the roof and puddled on the porch,
splotched the red Delta 88 convertible in the driveway,
and trickled silently into the sand.

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