Five-Year-Old at Lighthouse Beach
By: Melissa de Haan Cummings - Jun 11, 2015
Being five years old
and unable to imagine
afternoon without brother
"I wish I could have a friend over"
thought to go to the lighthouse.
"How do you get to that high rock?
Help me. Follow my footprints."
"I can't see them on the rocks."
"Here's some sand. It will be easier.
Step where I step. There go
the dogs! Follow them!
Who lives in there?
"It's a shed. Like daddy's"
"Read the sign. What does it say?"
"To be careful."
"Of what -- O the railing
down the steps is gone.
How do we get there?"
Across the gangway where
two years earlier he thought
the moose lived
today he knocks
finds the padlock
the dog squeezes between gate and fence
sticks, backs out.
Up come two coasties
who have no key.
"Boston runs it."
The dog pushes through
The boy tries to edge
an elbow shaped stick
through a diamond of the gate
fails, manages a splinter we can't remove
worries it and future extraction
on my chest
in the pale sufficient sun.
Later, finding me reading too long
the dog lays her cheek on that same chest
without asking to play.