Even He Can

Even He Can

They went to the coast On his birthday

She sat on the beach

With Uncle in a pair of faded green canvas

Lounge chairs. And talked

About what she would do now that her boy was Twenty-seven.

Mom and Uncle watched him play in the wet sand

Slowly filling a cracked plastic bucket

With his over-sized hands.

And dumping it out into misshapen mounds,

One on top of another.

He didn’t notice

The laughter of the swimmers in the ocean,

Who had shied away from him in the parking lot

when he’d chased the squawking seagulls.


His Uncle’s gentle rebuke

To move farther away from the water

Heedless, he sang to himself, drawing stares

And the whispers of children.

Concerned with what he was

Doing. He clumsily shaped the pile of

Sand. Bucket now discarded.

His mother’s shadow fell over him and her soft voice

said it was time to go.

She helped him to his feet, sand cascading

Down his gangly legs.

As they followed Uncle back to the car.

He held her hand and told her he was hungry for ‘sketti’

Behind them the cracked bucket sat

Next to a slowly eroding sculpture

Of the Matterhorn

Which he had seen once

In a picture book at school.


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