Summer Fade

Rehoboth, Delaware

The beach will fill up
with colorful umbrellas
soon. Children will play

in the surf, letting
it tickle their ankles and
skimpering away

when its froth licks up,
coming for them. Older boys
will slowly wade out,

into the cold drift
of deeper waters. The brave
among them may splash

the timid young girls
venturing near the shoreline
in flowery new suits.

Someone will feed gulls
rinds of leftover sandwich.
Now, in the bare wash

at low tide, the crowds
retreat from the whole traffic
of the sea. Summer

palls its gold blaze, holds
a quiet place in common,
from which we step back.

We examine blank
erasures the undertow
has made: impressions

of our feet, sinking
in the quick of sand slipping
a wave’s withdrawal.