AT THE BEACH
A woman, slender and tan
in khaki shorts and a bikini top,
kneels within the outline
of a snowy egret.
Spine straight, arms swinging free,
she inches backward,
down the great bird’s neck,
smoothing sand with her forearm,
etching feathers with her fingertips.
She spends an hour
modeling wing tip, underbelly, tail.
She stands, picks up a bucket, and begins
to haul water to the site,
pouring it into the narrow furrows
that bound the form.
Every few minutes, kids
stagger up from water’s edge.
Some shuffle through the design;
others pull up short, walk around, staring.
“What are you doing that for?” they ask.
“Have to,” she shrugs, marveling
how her life has made the cliché
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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