It's refreshing, this January beach
whose secrets still wash ashore,
offer my girls smoothed stones,
wave tossed shells, an odd feather or two.
Our cheeks flush from biting wind,
waves laughingly avoided -
not embraced as in June.
Yet this winter rush offers
a lingering sharpness of which
sun drenched days can't compete -
kind of like the difference between
chocolate chip mint ice cream
and rainbow sherbet:
one caters to the sweet tooth,
the other cleanses the palate.
With necks scarf-wrapped,
hands pocketed, we hurry along
the trackless sand, take the stairs
two by two to the boardwalk,
glance upwards as pelicans
glide single file against the soothing sky,
become our evening prayer.
by Margaret Bednar, January 6, 2014