I open a shoebox labeled VACATIONS
photographs fall out together comingling
generations. Sunburned faces atop wet
bathing suits smile back at me. I swim into the past

Visits to the beach, the ocean roared
onto shore. An old ramshackle beach house
where laughter lived. My children fought
over sandcastles, how I long to live close to them now

If I could only smell the salt air, I would dream
of tomorrow. I have questions with no answers.
Will I return to the beach some day?
Will my children share the same sunset?

I grasp the thin stem of a wine glass and savor
the oak flavor of the chardonnay within. In dark
recesses, images flicker like an old movie.
Scenes of shifting days through my mind

Sand whips across the dune, seagrass stands tall
against a blue sky, seagulls squawk overhead,
and jellyfish wash up in the surf. I set down my
wine glass and return to now.

Pamela D. Hirte grew up in Florida and later moved to the midwest to earn a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is a Master Gardener and spends her time outdoors or writing poetry. Hirte has been published in many literary journals including From The Depths, Creative Voices, and Pegasus.