beach scene #6

The horse-faced girl kicks the board away, bouncing loose in the foam up the sloping beach. A boy-man comes after the board too late, jumps up running legs sideyways through the moving backwash, ignoring her stare.

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Whistles blowing, a long series of blasts.

Heaving dumpers, five sets of three, starting from nowhere, letting go great hills of foam, rolling over shrieking swimmers.

Crying children, plumped and carried-in by bewildered city parents. Two too-young lifesavers swim across instant rips, worried, and earning their name.

The wrinkled couple standing watchful from their usual spot up-beach, faded towels underfoot. Learnt hard, they know the drama is seasonal, and harsh. Not speaking, something in their eye looks like hunger.

A long string of families leave, carrying their heavy-sodden towels and soaked gearbags, towing sandysalted and complaining children who see no reason not to stay and play on.

The girl walks upbeach to her wet stuff, picks up her remaining yellow rubber shoe and laughs.

It’s summer again at the back beach.

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