Numbers

Jayne de Constant

The wind is East
The sun burns hot and golden.
We walk along the hard, wet sand
aware that eyes follow us.

    We are seventeen

Gulls swoop and cry,
Their harsh voices make us look up.
We stretch out on long towels,
bodies straight and confident.

    We are twenty.

The tide is high.
Froth-edged waves slide in smoothly,
absorbing the children's sand art.
We move low chairs to dryer sand.

    Oh, to be thirty.

The ocean is cold.
Sea water flows over bodies
that have rounded bellies and
small veins showing on thighs.

    Sixty is here.

The fog is dense.
Moisture beads on gray-white hair
and clouds eye glasses.
We walk, knowing a secret.

    We are seventy for the world to see.

But, magical colors and sounds live
inside our minds; seventeen, twenty
and all the other numbers are with us always.


June, 2006

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