I Could Talk of Childhood Beaches

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I could talk of childhood beaches
of the rock-pools at Rhoscolyn,
saltwater rashes
and the eel that brushed past our legs,
eliciting squeals and a swift, slippery exit
across weed-draped rocks.

But then I wouldn’t be here in Broadstairs,
one-fifth of a mile from Dickens’ holiday home
but only caring for the lap of brine,
to lean into the waves, to lie back and be uplifted,
to be pulled and pushed,
to be part of the tide.

I could talk of a Maryport sea-wall
in October,
the wind from the North
almost blowing us over.

But then I wouldn’t be here in Margate
swimming with friends I made half-an-hour ago
and drinking a Margate mule.

I could talk of childhood beaches
but I am always a child when by the sea.
Three-hundred and fifteen fine line horizons.
Two-dozen seaside sunsets.
Eleven actual swims in the oceans
unable to touch the bottom.
Properly deep.

I could talk of childhood beaches,
but in shell years, in seaglass time,
I am not yet even one.

Sarah L Dixon lives in Yorkshire. She gets inspiration from water and adventures with her son, Frank. She has two books published.

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