from The Belly Remembers
In the photo my children
run along a wet shoreline
on a bright day of whipping winds.
Jagged cliffs of red stone
and grey rise like bleachers
above the flinging sand.
He is the young man in baggy shorts
and sunglasses, hair flying,
grinning wide as he runs,
leggy sister on his back.
Her hood tied round her face
is like a mouth pronouncing “cow”,
but you can see in the narrow patch
of light that shows only a peek of nose,
the inner corners of eyes, a touch
of upper lip, that she is grinning too.
Her legs dangling through his pocketed arms
are bare, strong-calved in blue gym shoes.
He has not yet climbed
the rocky island that rises unseen
behind them in the green-white frothing
surf, and I do not yet know
that my keys lie somewhere hidden
beneath the blowing sand,
that it will take an hour of worry,
the help of strangers, and finally,
an unbeliever’s desperate plea
to Saint Anthony before the wind
will part the sand to reveal them,
the keys to everything else
that seems important in my life.