Family Vacation
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

We arrive in the Canary Islands.
My parents argue in the taxi
on the way to the hotel.
They also argued on the plane.
I want us all to be happy.
My father promises we’ll go
to the beach the next day —
my mother says We’ll see.
The next day we’re off!
The ocean glitters so it hurts
my eyes but I stare at it anyway,
drinking it in. My father takes my
sister and me into the water.
We can’t swim so we hang off of
his tan arms like girl tentacles.
My pale mother sits at a sidewalk
café overlooking the beach
beneath an umbrella, wears a
big floppy hat, round black
sunglasses, sips a lemon drink,
waits for us. The heat and sun
make her sick. I wave wildly
at her. She waves back — then
looks away.
I want us all to be happy.
My father laughs joyously, the
beach shimmers in the sun, the
water sparkles — my mother

I am caught
the devil and the deep blue sea. . .

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: By the Atlantic Ocean 1975 — but in Maine, not the Canary Islands. This was a few years after the family vacation referenced in my poem. I was still wanting everyone to be happy.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have very happy memories of family vacations and some not so happy. I was sensitive to tension and conflict among my family; my internal worry could ruin a carefree time. If only I had known then that my future held many solitary, magical and peaceful travels.

Cimera Author Photo

Tricia Marcella Cimera
will always be an obsessed reader and lover of words. Look for her work (some forthcoming) in these diverse places and elsewhere: the Buddhist Poetry Review, Dead Snakes, Foliate Oak, Fox Adoption Magazine, Hedgerow: A Journal of Small Poems, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Mad Swirl, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, and Your One Phone Call. She has a micro collection of water-themed poems called The Sea and a River on the Origami Poems Project website. Tricia believes there’s no place like her own backyard and has traveled the world (including Graceland). She resides with her husband and family of animals in Illinois/in a town called St. Charles/by a river named Fox. She loves an empty, misty beach with not a soul in sight.

AUTHOR PHOTO: Windy Ogunquit Beach (Maine), May 2016.