by Ann Sexton
Here, in front of the summer hotel
the beach waits like an altar.
We are lying on a cloth of sand
while the Atlantic noon stains
the world in light.
It was much the same
five years ago. I remember
how Ezio Pinza was flying a kite
for the children. None of us noticed
it then. The pleated lady
was still a nest of her knitting.
Four pouchy fellows kept their policy
of gin and tonic while trading some money.
The parasol girls slept, sun-sitting
their lovely years. No one thought
how precious it was, or even how funny
the festival seemed, square rigged in the air.
The air was a season they had bought,
like the cloth of sand.
I’ve been waiting
on this private stretch of summer land,
counting these five years and wondering why.
I mean, it was different that time
with Ezio Pinza flying a kite.
Maybe, after all, he knew something more
and was right.