I had never been to the seaside. I knew what to expect, though. I had a book about it. There were lots of pictures of rock pools and the strange creatures living there. My favourites were the hermit crabs. I was looking forward to those the most. I had a little bucket to collect them in. But there were no rock pools, at this seaside. Just flat sand with a thin distant line of cold grey sea. Why? No one said. I found some shells to put in my bucket. I liked the tiny pink ones best. But most were broken and not worth collecting. Why? No one said. No shells, no hermit crabs, but they showed me how to put damp sand into my miniature bucket. with my miniature spade and how to pat it down and tip it out to make ‘sand pies’. I was supposed to like doing this. Why? No one said. They gave me some paper flags on thin wooden sticks. I could stick them in the top of my sand pies. I was supposed to like doing this. Why? No one said. I thought I’d save up my flags until I’d climbed the mountain at my auntie’s. When I got to the top I’d arrange them into my initials so everyone would know I’d been there. I started to practice this. But they said the mountain was a slag heap, not a mountain and therefore out of bounds. Why? No one said. We stayed on the beach a long time. Then we went to a toy shop. My father bought me a doll with real hair, they said. But it was made of nylon. I called her Gloria. That was the best bit. but nothing was as it had been inside my head. *First published in Silver Birch Press, Beach and Pool Series, 2016
About the Poet:
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Light Journal and So It Goes.