The sunset shattered slowly. Little
particles of coral light radiated across
the sooty surface of the lake, dropping
kisses on the shore. Waves unfurled on
the pale beach. Water whooshing in and
out to smooth petoskey stones and soften
jagged edges of the ruby-red seaglass.
Together, we watched the darkness
gather from the west gable window
on the third floor bunk room. Her
head was warm against my shoulder.
We waited as the house fell silent.
Clutching hands, we tiptoed breathless into
the backyard. One by one the stars blinked
hello from heaven’s nocturnal canvas and
the ensemble of fireflies dancing beneath
the maple trees flickered like tiny stars
cupped within our palms.
We ran down the stairs to the beach, our
laughter stolen away by the warm summer
breeze, the sand gritted beneath our toes and
we plunged into the water, squealing and splashing
as our arms broke the glassy murk of the waves.
Later, lying side by side on the ghostly
shoreline we looked up at the stars gazing
down and dreamed of tomorrows. Our
youthful laughter and whispered promises
swirled upwards – captured by the night.
I still visit that beach sometimes. I walk
along the shore when the midday sun shines
grim on the shattered ruby-red glass and on
the smoothed-over petoskey stones on the
bleached sand. As my footprints are snatched
away by greedy waves,
I dream alone of yesterdays.
By Noel Vanderbilt