Final Days of Summer

We walk to the beach
cousins following moms
in single file
wearing bathing suits with towels draped
over our necks
down a sandy trail
Through the woods and dunes
poison ivy, the cicadas
their discordant cords at maximum volume
sailboat spinnakers of vibrant colors
taut from the wind
skim the horizon with the
breeze, perfumed by sunscreen and sand
on a near-empty beach
the waves crash
then sigh
as they wash back out
then sigh
then sigh
The kids are busy
riding wave
after wave
near the shore
until it is the moms’ turns
to swim
then the kids watch
heads bob
farther out in the water
from the sandy beach
I do the breaststroke in Lake Michigan
sucking in a breath
ducking underwater
rising with the swelling wave
as I finish my stroke
I pop back up
gasp in a
the reflecting light
dancing on the
green water
around me