Bio Note: I am a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia. Besides reading and writing, I enjoy watching my young grandsons participate in their sports events and also my time on or near the water. Last year I published my first collection of poems entitled Strange Fire.
Beachballs as colorful as the flower-hat jelly fish and carried by the wind; gulls, gray, white and black, screeching like a stainless steel knife against beer bottle, and competing for crumbs around the abandoned lounge chair; airplanes bannering Best Parasailing Guaranteed; pull-carts hauling tents and towels and little tots; white sand pocked with a million footprints, dunes and craters here and there, sometimes a castle doomed to wed with water; the young, tanned and bronzed, playing frisbee, some showing off their full-bodied, labyrinthine tattoos, others with a single design, but all slathered in shine to pay homage to the sun god; the old, tummies protruding like a frog’s goozle, wading at water’s edge, searching for shells, or resting under umbrellas and behind dark glasses; a loud speaker expanding the sounds of a couple’s i-phone playlist, the two facing each other, inching closer, then touching, then embracing, we breathing their sweetness; waves lapping the shore and retreating time and time again, their monotony fresh, like new tongues.
I see him even now, fixed on the task, little golden tack pursed between his lips, hammer in right hand, another tack in his left, straddling a rusty cast-iron shoe form to re-sole his Sunday slippers. I watch him measuring and cutting the stiff leather square, fitting it to the bottom of the shoe from midway the sole to the toe, the work as methodical and precise as the earth’s rotation, and then securing it with tacks and tap, tap, tap of the hammer. In those moments he appears god-like, showered in the golden light of the twenty-five-watt naked bulb suspended from ceiling. In his aloneness, he is making do. In his silence, he is articulating the language of love.
After Jo McDougall These are scars from the transurethral resections, the surgeon says, pointing to the dark red markings on the screen, little ribbons serpentining their way through the blushing pink flesh of the pear-shaped sac. I hold my breath, look to the ceiling and close my eyes as he scopes one last time for tiny planets menacing around inside. And then he stops. No tumors. Suddenly, his white coat sprouts wings, the sputtering water in the plastic bottle sings like dulcet diamonds and the dull-gray ceiling explodes into a canopy of shooting stars
©2022 Jo Taylor
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