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The horizon slopes

to the right

and the sky is palette-knife smooth

until the cumulous ripple-curls

to match the surf spume at their feet.

 

Five of them, their backs to the camera

on the glossy rock

balanced there

where the sea has washed and washed

with all its tides

the black basalt

and comes back at night

to inspect with waving fingers

the day’s effects.

 

They are looking down

except for the smallest;

he has his mother’s hand

and shyly lifts his eyes

to the nearest wave

that trembles

and glitters

with all the little waves on its surface

and the spin and drift of sea.

 

The rocks slope to the left,

deep shadows in their fault lines

that black out day.

The figures will take another step in a moment

careful of bare feet on whelks

or the slip of that fine-haired sea weed

or the next resound of surf break.

 

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