In the pure surf, her pale feet are seen

Slipping below. Warmth cascades around:

Against sirocco, sunglasses shield you from

Discerning glances alone. So much so,

That the men parade past, quite unknowing,

Themselves half-cut, and also wearing sunglasses –

They saunter by as perfectly as years –

Before you know, it’s time to go, so soon!

You had hoped to watch them longer, languorous…

That flush now passing, you know you’ll miss that sight.

And soon you ought to shawl yourself, beach towel

Sole comfort as the lights roll darkening back

Chill as the air: cool as the waves, who kiss

The pale feet of your forgotten, drowning daughter.


The alternative title for this was going to be “Bad Parenting on Holiday” but I thought that would ruin it, a bit. 


One thought on “Malibu

  1. Dear James

    So poignant and challenging! Strangely or coincidentally I have read of the ‘girl drowning happening’ several times recently which,in whatever context, is painful and sticks in the memory. Also in the news of migrants, refugees. Thanks for sending the poems. I turn to them often on my iPad.

    Love from us both, Gran


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