Eastbourne (2017)

Joseph Coelho

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links Off

Kicking the pebbles along Eastbourne beach
as the orange-pink of sunset
plays with the ebbing tide,
my mother asks…

“What do you want to do when you’re older?”

There is every colour of pebble beneath my feet,
grey lumps of flint winking their sharp, shining
cores
gritty ovals of sandstone pregnant with fossils,
worn amulets of glass of every sparkle.

They crunch and shift under synced steps
as we stroll, towels wrapped around sand-dusted
bodies.
The sea sings with the pebbles,
knocking a tone from each,
forming a hushing melody.

Sunbursts dip into the wispy clouds,
bounce from the greens, blacks and purples of the
rock pools,
shine red and gold and white from the sea.
There is every colour in the sun.

My baby sister toddles alongside my grandmother,
the years between them
like the ghosts of waves already ebbed
and the years to come
like the promise of tides,
as their silhouettes whisper in the sunshine.

“What do I want to be when I’m older?”

The question bounces around my head
like light and wind and water and time
and I smile…

“I don’t know.”