Last Day at the Beach


At eight in the morning
on a Saturday
beneath an overcast sky,
I wander across the boardwalk
of weather-beaten planks
to the deserted beach below.
Eleven seagulls sleep nearby,
their left legs tucked up, for warmth.
The sand is cool
on my bare feet.
I sit just above the damp tide mark,
brushing the smooth sand
into a wide arc
with my hands.
The tide edges forward,
and an almost blue mussel shell,
broken in half,
rolls and tumbles
briefly in the shallow froth,
Before it is carried
once more out of sight.
I stand and brush
the sand off my legs;
skirting a broken bottle,
I walk towards
the three-foot chain-link fence
surrounding our beach house.