Each year East Beach holds
a sand castle competition.
We wait for people to leave
before we set out to explore
the massive display and pick
one to mimic. Today is the day.
We pause and stare at each exhibit
as if at the Louvre. You finally say
you like the dragon best. I stop
in front of it and set your favorite
yellow pail and shovel at my feet.
Scoop by scoop and pat by pat the sand
is packed as tight as possible, my back
and shoulders taut, turning salmon pink
as hour by hour I lean over mounds
of sun-kissed grit between my nails
invading sand tickling my nose to sneeze
and grinding between my teeth—
I can almost hear your voice
without regret, can almost
see you looking
lovingly at me
through dragon eyes.
I am your hands now,
living out your dream
without you here.
Laurie Kolp, author of Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing) and Hello, It’s Your Mother (Finishing Line Press), serves as president of Texas Gulf Coast Writers and treasurer of the local chapter of the Poetry Society of Texas. Laurie’s poems have appeared in Gargoyle, Yellow Chair Review, Pirene’s Fountain, and more. Find her on Twitter as @KolpLaurie. Her website is www.lauriekolp.com.