The Ocean Tent [Poem]

The Ocean Tent

After Anne Sexton’s “Young”

by Isabella Waldron

2nd Runner-Up for Poetry in the Echoes Writing Contest

January 2015

When my smile was crooked,

and my teeth were small and gapped,

there were the tents on the beach

And S’mores that stuck to my hair

like moths flirting with candle flame,

I liked the grit of the sand on my legs

and the dirt under the ridges of my fingernails

and the closeness of my cousins,

no loneliness with three flashlights

pouring out of the thin pastry layers

of a sea grass green tent

And I was like the tide at midday,

unpredictable and new and there

and our fathers were like that summer moon,

pulling us back to sandy campsites,

little bugs nestled in the underbelly

of our nylon playhouses

and we hadn’t thought of a house

without rough edges and tumbling in sand

and we were happy with our plays

arms, toes, bruises, and salty ocean spray.