a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Our blue maxi-coats drag in the sand.
Leather boots slip. Sun glints
on double rows of silver buttons,
glances off the Mediterranean.
Sandstone cliffs stand serene,
umbrella pine trees beckon.
On the beach, we shiver, undress,
fold corduroy skirts and wool sweaters,
tuck bras and panties deep within layers of clothing.
We pad down the beach, run into the ocean,
flinch at the cold swipe of curling waves
at our waists. We catch our breath,
lie back on soft green swells. The sea
lifts and rocks, laps our bodies. Our hair streams
around our heads. We stare
into the cloudless January sky.
Voices reach over the water like radio
signals. You’re taking too long! It’s cold!
The boys are walking away.
But we know they turned their backs
long ago. A seagull mocks from the cliff top.
We turn, tiptoe over a steady stream
of hushing waves, reach the beach.
Our skins tingle. Sea salt wind
fusses around our faces. We inhale
ocean air laced with scent of pine.
We are alone, no longer in thrall.
Vivienne Popperl lives in Portland, Oregon, but her heart always yearns for Provence, France. She finds nourishment and hope in nature and poetry. Her work has appeared in several publications including Willawaw Journal, Cirque, Oyster River Pages, Persimmon Tree, The Clackamas Literary Review and The Timberline Review.