Eight feet press tracks into wet sand,
attempt to race
waves that lick salt water tongues
at tiny toes
and the boy’s shoes are already soaked.
Sneakers kicked errantly into
piles of sun-dried seaweed,
the girls are skipping up the beach.
Her blonde hair flies out in disarray,
strands stuck to her mist dampened face.
An overcast day, cold for late June.
But she doesn’t feel the weather;
the scent of ocean.
The smallest stumbles
over sea worn driftwood.
Runs to catch up
kicking sand backwards in golden arcs.
The oldest stops,
crouches to examine tidal tokens
The purple blue of muscle shells,
the spine covered fragility of sea urchins.
Barefooted they wade into waves,
catch breath in their throats
as the cold of sea
prickles warm skin,
drifts over sand to erase footprints.
The boy has kicked off his wet sneakers,
now walks in damp socks that collect sand
as he collects rocks and shells.
They fill jacket pockets,
make pouches of their shirts
to fill with mementos of this experience
to place amongst their child’s treasures at home.