THIEVES OF AUGUST by John Timpane
You kiss him on the sand and a rainbow arcs
From ocean to ocean. At her feet lies
A horseshoe crab, postcard from the Paleozoic. Those
Kids stole summer and ran down the beach. Don’t
Let them get away.
Above our house a storm builds like the end; only
Yesterday, sunset turned skies to blood streaked
Gold. A black pier shimmers on the waters. Don’t let them
Get away, those kids running down
The beach, stealing summer.
Our mornings lay together, painted kayaks, our noons
Yachts at harbor, our nights Rocky Road, the Ferris wheel,
The Strand at Ocean City. If it was Wildwood, if it was
Cape May, if it was LBI, those three kids
Running, they’re getting away with summer —
While the black shell curls in his palm
Like the future. Jersey, and we felt like
Singing. Storms were best, right after, rainbows
Nowhere to nowhere, three kids
Running like mad down the beach, stop …
Let’s boat down the inlet one last dusk. Let our
Wake trouble the bedspread of still water.
Let the bridge disappear into twilight, let the dog
Trot forever by the tide — but don’t let
Summer get away with those kids.
Bring them back, the beachgrassy dunes, sails,
Breakers curling iron-gray against day’s end,
Ice cream so good you let it drip on your shoe. We waited
Until everyone was sky-watching, and then we
Stole summer and ran, ran down the beach.