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

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