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My First Seaside by Andy Eycott

an orange windbreak with green stripes 
hammered out our privacy 
on Margate’s’ glorious gold 
 
the drone of adult’s chit-chatting  
in low slung deck chairs, rose from 
windbreak empires crowding the beach 
 
the year is of little consequence, 
the hands of time had no hold 
over me back then 
 
I sense a blur of cousins playing 
though not with me, yet I hear them 
laughing, running into the sea 
 
I am younger, too young to play 
‘their ‘ games, so I sit with bucket and spade 
use lolly stick flags to crown my turrets 
 
I diligently dig a channel around my castle 
the sand is moist, yet the moat is empty, 
I am too far from the waters’ edge 
  
as I lick at a mountain of ice cream 
the summer heat teases me, 
a sweet avalanche rushes down my arm 
 
I hear gulls laughing at me,  
feel a warm hug from the sun 
smell the salt in the air 
 
my sticky fingers gloved with sand 
as I eat my egg sandwich, 
feel the scratch of grit on my teeth