Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
What If Engulfed

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Squinting over tangerine pile
past sand flecks quivering in the damp towel fluff
in attempted sanctuary from the wind tussle,
I watch my little lithe one careen across the soupy sand
note how from here he appears sky-tall and slightly tilted
how his steps crack on the wet cement sand
how chorus line waves kick in spectacle behind
how the wall of waves, brown with white spittle, swirls in backdrop
splays its saliva slick on the gulf sand
wields razor shell shards
glares in slants and shrugs like a guillotine blade.

My boisterous innocent
in temporary form of calcium, tissue, serum, and imagination
animated by glee
attends the flushed, glamorous beast,
studies its half-bored primordial gaze
meets it with exuberance and appropriate regard but
hazardous absence of concern,
prey roughhousing the lion.

The way it wraps his ankles so coolly
plays piggies with his toes
the magnificent beast nearly disarms
even me
into thinking it charmed like some doting auntie
by this sandy-haired son
by the way he bends then draws away, startled at a clam's dramatic escape.


Lesley Clinton’s poems have appeared in A Handful of Stones and Laurels–The Literary Magazine. She writes and tutors in Texas, where she and her husband raise their three little ones. Visit her at Hearth Bard.


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