Laura beach
Summer Day at Huntington Beach
by Laura Grace Weldon

I tick with alarm clock worry.
My sister is afraid of nothing.
Not the dark or death or
Jay Preslan down the street
who pushes kids in front of cars.

Look at her run into the water
while I stand squinting. She
doesn’t pinch her nose
to dive under. Doesn’t pause
before splashing back
strange splashing kids. Doesn’t heed
the lifeguard’s megaphoned warning
to stay away from the ropes.

Lake Erie grabs at the shore,
slurps it greedily in foaming waves.
I picture monstrous goggly-eyed fish
lurking under the pier,
ships skudded in the depths,
their lost sailors forever unburied.
I inhale the curved scent
of suntan lotion, clench my toes
in the sand, stand still. Far out,
bobbing in foil-bright waves,
my sister is another being entirely,
straining at the boundary ropes
trying to see all the way to Canada.

I’m squintingly reading a guide to fish species
rather than swimming amongst actual fish.
My nerd tendencies were evident early on.
(Photo taken on the shores of Lake Erie, early 70s)

Laura mug shot

Laura Grace Weldon
is the author of a poetry collection titled Tending and a handbook of alternative education, Free Range Learning. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she’s an editor and marginally useful farm wench. Her background includes leading nonviolence workshops, writing poetry with nursing home residents, facilitating support groups for abuse survivors, writing sarcastic greeting cards, and teaching classes in memoir and poetry. Her work appears in such places as Literary Mama, Christian Science Monitor, J Journal, Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, Red River Review, Shot Glass Journal, and Pudding House. Connect with her at