Side by side
by Sarah Kinebanian

Seeing the place again
and under the restless pines
was back in a childhood holiday
the black dark roof of them over his head
splintered and spattered with sun
and there was the sand
he knew the sand again without touching,
the damp sand cool, giving a little,
the dry sand stiff and warm, stubbing
his pink straight small-boy toes
the smell of the freshly decaying sea
and the pines again

because he never spoke of it
knew little of all this
was wondering why he stood so still
was thinking about her shopping list
and whether later the train would come on time
to get them home.
The quicker the better.