THURSDAY: Beach Soccer, Gathering Stones

BY BIEKE STENGOS

Copyright is held by the author.

Beach Soccer

As the years passed
my father distanced himself
from his children in
direct correlation
to the demands of his career

No more bedtime rides
high upon his shoulders
No more crawling
onto his lap

But at the seaside
he ran with us toward the water
where he twirled me high
above the white spray
And he played soccer

My father’s shots on goal?
I never saved one
from going into the net
My brother’s?
He would let me win

 

Gathering Stones

That weekend my father
instructs us to gather flat stones
that have washed up on the beach
He wants them for the path
he’s putting in the garden back home

My brother and I marvel
that home is a place where things happen
even with us gone
You’ll never use these stones my aunt says

We coax her because
we can’t abide
to see any one contradict our father
Still she refuses to bend down
to pick one stone
Then she slips and falls
on the algae rich breaker

We laugh
adults and children alike
and watch her walk away
feet slapping on wet sand
her bum a wiggle of stains

4 comments

  1. Mary Steer

    Beach Soccer was poignant…made me feel a little sad. Gathering Stones made me grin. Nice juxtaposition. 🙂

  2. Bieke Stengos

    Just now visiting the place where these poems were hatched. With my mother and brother, showing my daughter the places of my youth. Thank you Mary and Connie for your thoughtful feedback.

  3. Merwan Engineer

    Nice how you convey that the beach was still a place of play,
    but your father’s soccer play was unnecessarily serious.
    That seriousness being visited on your Aunt, who in her rebellion is humiliated by the flock.

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