’14 Summer Swansong (part 3)

family walking on a beach

August 27th

The water covers our ankles, and it’s still cold after a summer’s worth of sun. A few steps in, and waves crash against our knees. The undertow pulls and pulls. Frankie soon lets the riptides carry him back to the beach.

surf and turf sunlight at our back

We all walk east on the tideline to escape smokers seated nearby. The bathers that huddle waist-high in the water yield to sparse sunbathers and sea-fishing rods erect in the sand, their lines out in the surf. We retreat to our right after Frankie and Mira spot irrefutable evidence that we’ve approached a nude beach.

wet sand so many misadventures

After our goodbyes to Robert Moses, the long beach-traffic home, and a festival of leftovers, Mom joins us with pastries. We sing “happy birthday” to Mira with two lit candles in a Napoleon.

crash of the surf from sea breeze to her gentle breath

August 28th

We pause for lunch at the Torne Valley lookout. Frankie points out New York, Jersey City, and Newark—flat outlines on the horizon under a hazy sky.

We’ll soon follow the Seven Hills trail over at least two of them. We’ll glimpse western New York and eastern New Jersey before a forested descent to the familiar Pine Meadow Trail, the path back to our Camry.

her birthday hike

all along the trail

fallen leaves

photo by Lena K

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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