Poetry: "The Sand Beneath the Surface" by Penny Sarmada

Even on dreary Lake Erie

among tufts of grass and broken glass

hot sand sparkled like it knew no better

and we knew that summer would glory on forever

We hid from our parents between the dunes

giggling into each other with the radio switched on

Sylvia’s Mother was the aching song it played

written by the same man who wrote the book

about a tree that gave and gave and gave

and was happy anyways

we read it together

half a century ago

You my younger sister and I we swam in fishy water

and rubbed each other with lotion (SPF zero)

till we reeked of seaweed and coconuts

still impossibly white inside

no matter how much we tried and tanned

before Labour Day forced us back

into plaid pleated skirts

and patent leather shoes

Till then we sprawled on Disney princess blankets

and I showed you how to thrust your hands

like paddling in thickened waves

reaching deep into cool wet sand

that lingered under our fingernails

and in the creases of our groins

after the August warmth

of golden sand had gone

Penny Sarmada is a writer from Ontario who is starting to send poetry and other writing into the world. A recent piece appears in Versification. Twitter @PennySarmada

Painting by the author