Beach Food
by Steve Klepetar

My mother baked a cake
and stood
by the edge of the sea.

Too sweet, too dry,
my father said,
flinging his slice into the rusty

waves. She offered a peach,
its pit removed
and stuffed with Parisian cream,

a basket filled with sandwiches
on little, soft rolls.
My father swam out with his

hunger, past the buoys, ignoring
the lifeguard’s whistle
and call. When he returned, it was night

and fires blazed along the beach.
We headed for the car as meat sizzled
and gray smoke rushed toward the vacant sky

IMAGE: “Interrupted Picnic” by Jack Yerka (2006).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: While I admit that this memory has been embellished a bit, food was an important component of my family’s beach experience. My parents sometimes disagreed about the menu. I remember how we always left, much to my salivating regret, as the rest of our family tossed steaks on the barbecue.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). sRecent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems, both from Flutter Press. His full-length collection Family Reunion is forthcoming from Big Table Publishing.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Here I am on the beach at Cozumel last December. I’ve just hurled a slice of cake into the sea.