Next to us are two families, local faces
neighbors stretched on beach towels
One family a lot like ours in the usual ways
whilst the other one is small and broken
like the china teapot they used to breakfast around
the pieces now scattered, or hidden
in the blazer pocket of an abusive father.
The remaining pieces since traded
as shrapnel between two battling brothers,
the shards of decoupage flower print
offered as penance by a guilt ridden mother
We sit side by side the sandcastles, doing our best
to say something whilst meaning nothing
ring fencing our own failures in a bid to
maintain safe distance from the distemper brewing.
I’m watching when, like the seagulls swooping the bay
one brother releases his message in a bottle of fury
on the young son of the family that sit alongside
circling the sand with bare feet and salted brows
For a second the fallen prey becomes litter in the foam
crashed amongst some bottle tops and a festering crab
and I scorn and scold as best as I can, neither are my kids
but the big boy needs a boundary and quick.
All around I see families drifting like ripples in a sea of sun burnt
strangers enjoying happy holidays, pulling down wide brim hats
as open mouthed children catch chocolate ice cream drips
ignore the commotion from behind billowing barbecues
We do what we can to help restore the picture postcard scene
then say ‘let’s quit while we’re ahead’ before heading home
Written for dVerse Poets prompt for Poetics. This week we were asked to write about someone or something we see and describe the process or method of what unfolded.