Isle of Palms

Christine LaPlaca

The arcs in the sand
display our names,
scrawled out with hollow sticks
and beached reeds.

My sisters skim across the waves;
I read in the rusted turquoise
folding chair, the pages
blinding me in the sun.

When the storms roll in the distance,
we gather our towels printed
with flamingos and checkers,
the shovel we use to bury each other.
My father hauls the white, striped
fishing rod, the cooler dragging behind him.

Thin grasses poke my legs
as we race across the wooden
pathway above the dunes.

The sand around our toes tickles
as the water sprays against us
before we go inside.
Cards and dinner in front of
a fuzzy television, our voices
retelling the day,
makes us forget the storm.

We return to the ocean.
The waves slide over one another.
My sisters laugh, my father’s fishing rod
whirrs as it is cast to the foam.
In the distance, my mother and I
shuffle across the sand
as we wait under the moon
of a South Carolina night.