Day Trip to Charlestown

You can drive all day
to reach the ocean, spend
several fragile moments wishing
she were always closer.
You might wish to be
a fisherman, fantasize
about tan and sinew, sea glass,
surf. The island at the horizon
beckons. But you have a station wagon,
not a schooner, and bills pile up.
Other mothers on the beach know.
You catch one’s eye as she tugs
her swimsuit top, all
the diffidence of motherhood
passing between you.
Only gulls are free here, only
children in photographs.

For Grace’s prompt to the Real Toads: JUDITH WRIGHT