On the Beach
On a beach a small boy
With sun bleached hair and a deep summer tan
Tosses pebbles in the still water
Sending ripples radiating across the bay
The minnows scatter
Flashing silver in the morning sun.
A few yards away
His mother looks up from her book
"Be good!" she calls
He turns back to see her watching him
From behind her sunglasses.
He shrugs, She returns to her novel
And he wanders along the shore
Passing the mothers dipping their baby's toes
And toned and muscled teenage boys
Leering at the young girls in their bikinis
A sudden breeze sings softly in his ear
And brushes the hair from his forehead
He looks to the sapphire-tinted sky and wonders
From where it came.
On another beach a solitary girl kneels
The sand scratching her knees
Her eyes are focused, her face determined
She bites her lip in concentration
Her hands scooping and molding
She cried when the boys came by
And kicked their way through the castle
Until her mother shooed them away
And then held her and wiped the tears
From her sun kissed cheeks.
Now it is done and even better than before
And she wonders who she might be
The Princess sitting high in the tower
She molded with a plastic cup
Or a deadly Archer
Standing on the parapet
Quiver full, bow drawn,
Muscles steady and firm
She feels something touch her cheek and then her shoulder
And looks around to see - no one
It was only a breeze that beckoned her.
She looks up to that same sapphire sky in wonder
And sees the silver-white clouds
Gliding by each other, their edges touching
Exchanging parts of themselves
Bio: Fred Bubbers received his Bachelor of Arts in English from The
State University of New York at Albany in 1982. His short stories and essays have appeared in Seeker Magazine, The Oregon Literary Review, Lily Literary Review, Word Riot, The Square Table and The Angler.Mr. Bubbers currently lives in Columbia, Maryland.