Sapphire sky,

emerald ocean,

combers of translucent cream,

and Tessa,

the diffident nixie

with a chambered nautilus

in the fist behind her back,


in the sand

circled by toeprints,

musing whether to heed

the music

of voices singing in the surf

or follow the beckoning

of landlubbers

to a peanut butter sandwich

on the porch.

A smile

flutters our way.

It is unfathomable,

like the flame in a pearl.

Scissored by the sun,

her shadow

slants up the dunes

into spike grass,

where crabs do their vanishing act

and small boys

hide heaps

of cerulean sea glass

under driftwood silvered by salt.

The nixie

whirls her curls

and turns

toward the beach.

Colin Campbell

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