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


  1. The diffidence of motherhood passing between you...that line struck me. We mothers have obligations though we so much want to be free as gulls & carefree as children ~ A wonderful & thoughtful reflection Marian, thanks for linking up with Sunday's Challenge ~

  2. To be bound by that shore and the stationwagons.. hope there are fathers to carry the burden somewhere as well..

  3. To be able to dream makes all the difference. Insightful. I liked this piece a lot.

  4. This poem is really on another level, Marian. You capture the essence, the muted understanding of human aspirations and situation. This is a new favourite for me.

  5. I LOVE this one, kiddo. A new favourite for me too. The shore, the wishing, the understanding between mothers, the diffidence......and "only gulls are free here, and children in photographs". Wow.

  6. I thought that was lovely. Greetings!

  7. A breath of freedom... just a breath... but powerful enough to make me wish for "gulls" and grown "children in photographs".

  8. "The island at the horizon
    beckons. But you have a station wagon" that tells the tale mightily

  9. Oh dear-- very vivid, well done. I can see that woman with the suit and the speaker and even the kids in photographs. Thanks, k.

  10. A day at the beach comes with its own type of baggage. Vivid imagery in this.

  11. Just shows freedom at the beach is still something of a craving with all the limitations. But being there is worth it just the same!


  12. Wow.. this is so good!

  13. i live near the beach, and have been frequenting a 'private' beach lately due to invitations. this world, with our gates and fences... how long will it last? ~


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!