Lynn beach - 1940

By

It was the city of my childhood
on a summer day,
a steamy day in August.
I was sitting on the sun-warmed sand
with my pink and freckled back
against the old decaying seawall
when I saw you
cartwheeling and back-flipping
along the misty edge of the ocean,
as if you were showing off
or trying to prove something.
I did not know you.
And I never thought about you again
until 40 years later.
It was on a summer day,
a steamy day in August.
I was leaning on the railing
overlooking the crowded beach and lazy waves
when I saw you again.
This time I saw your face,
young and bright with life and pride
in your own strong, browning body
that was shining with sweat and sun-soaked seaspray.
This time I felt the exquisite joy in you
as you cartwheeled and back-flipped
along the misty margins of my mind
that summer day,
that steamy day in August,
in the city of my childhood.

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