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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 24 page 07

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Government Dock Beach

by Paula Kienapple-Summers


Stones. Smooth, rounded, freckled. Like petrified goose eggs.
This one is white. This one pearl-grey. Brownish-yellow. Speckled black.
Tea-stained. Blue-streaked. Piles and piles nested on the shore.
You reach down. A special one for your pocket.

The trek is slow.
With each step, stones slide against each other. Push sideways. Your ankles tilt.
Your thighs tighten. Your balance is thrown off.
Finally, you reach the massive tree trunk that lies stranded
in the middle of the brittle beach.
Barkless, silver-grey. A sculpture to lean against.

Waves sweep in, recede. Roll in, drag back. The low tympanic rush of lake water
tamps against your eardrums, tumbles into your chest, throbs inside your rib cage.
The heave and draw of beach stones, click-clack, clitter-clatter.

Granite cliffs frame the stony carpet of beach. An invitation to climb.
Deep crevices slice through the stacks of bedrock.
Tufts of stubby grass cling to small pockets of soil between the cracks.
You lean in to the steepness. Propel your legs up, step over the gaps. Rise.

At the top, your hair rollicks in all directions.
Your jacket and pants flap against your limbs.
Cool winds jab at your cheeks.
The ledge where you stand is flecked with gold and red.
The shoreline scallops further and further away from you.
Vanishing into water. Into sky.