Barbara Conrad

Waves stirring the beach this morning,
                  high tide rising, salty froth on a cup of cappuccino.

Seas will be rougher, maybe an afternoon
thunder storm. For now – that sun-painted sky,

sandpipers skimming the foam
                  and old friends strolling the shoreline
                                    in all our shapes of jog and wobble.

Some of us stoop to prove we still can, rub the smooth
                  skin of a shell before dropping it into a bucket.

Who wouldn’t fancy the vibrant lives of those around us?

That pelican scooping a bluefish, no worries of weather
                  or the daily count of wing-beats for weight loss.

Dog, off-leash, chasing a gull. A child dripping her first
sand castle from a tidal pool. Even the lifeguard

we’ve been watching, the one setting up the day
for the weekly renters. Look how she lifts wood chairs

over her head, twists umbrellas deep into hard sand,
                  her back straight as copper rebar,
                                    biceps bulging with young muscle.

Imagine our bodies that buoyant,
                                    even after last night’s
                  raucous ruckus of sex in the dunes.

Barbara Conrad is author of three poetry collections: The Gravity of Color, Wild Plums and There Is a Field (2018).  She also is Editor of Waiting for Soup, an anthology from her writing group at a homeless day shelter.  Her poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Atlanta Review, Pembroke, Nine Mile, NC Literary Review, Broad River and numerous anthologies. Her subjects range from ironic takes on life to hard truths about social injustice – hopefully with a bit of attitude.