that the tide has left,
darkening the pebbles as it retreats
back into its unlocked line of defence.
The dry stones are almost white,
salt bleached, amnesiac.
The wet ones glisten, sepia slick
as the thin wave sighs, leaves.
We came here as kids,
the pain of pebbles
under soft skin
as we inched our way in.
Dad’s newspaper flapping like a flag,
Mam against the sun, waves,
a camera shuttering –