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During summer vacation, if it wasn’t raining,
my mother took my brother and me
to the Michigan City Dunes.
Early in the morning the parking lot was already so hot
my brother and I had to run to get to the sand.
The sand was pure white and so fine walking on it made it sing.
When there was a breeze the salt grass whispered
and sea gulls called all day.
We took an ice chest filled with tuna salad sandwiches,
carrot sticks, apples and Fresca.
We spread out orange and green beach towels.
My brother played in the water which was too cold for me
while I read science fiction and my mother watched my brother.
One summer our cousin came with us.
She was two years older and I was in love.
She wore a two-piece bathing suit with daisies.
I couldn’t stop thinking about her and about the sunscreen girl
whose tan lines were exposed by the little dog on the bottle.
No matter how careful we were
the sandwiches sometimes got soaked with melted ice
and the tuna salad would sometimes get a sandy crunch.
Then there was the sand in our swimming suits
which suddenly became much more important
when I considered the sand in our cousin’s suit.
At the start of summer we’d have sun burns,
but after two weeks our skin was dark brown
and our hair was bleached reddish blonde.
We’d stay at the beach till supper time.
Then we moved to San Francisco.
The beaches there were too cold for us to do much.
The sand was coarse and didn’t sing.
The sea gulls sounded sad.
There were no more lunches by the water,
but sometimes while eating crab at Fisherman’s Wharf

there’s occasionally the-now-satisfying-crunch of sand.

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Johnathan Ausgeber

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