Wednesday, 3 February 2021

 Expectations


I had never been to the seaside.

I knew what to expect, though.

I had a book about it.

There were lots of pictures of rock pools

and the strange creatures living there.

My favourites were the hermit crabs.

I was looking forward to those the most.

I had a little bucket to collect them in.


But there were no rock pools,

at this seaside.

Just flat sand with a thin distant line

of cold grey sea.

Why?

No one said.


I found some shells

to put in my bucket.

I liked the tiny pink ones best.

But most were broken

and not worth collecting.

Why?

No one said.


No shells, no hermit crabs, but

they showed me how to put damp sand

into my miniature bucket.

with my miniature spade

and how to pat it down 

and tip it out to make ‘sand pies’.

I was supposed to like doing this.

Why?

No one said.


They gave me some paper flags

on thin wooden sticks.

I could stick them in 

the top of my sand pies.

I was supposed to like doing this.

Why?

No one said.


I thought I’d save up my flags

until I’d climbed the mountain

at my auntie’s.

When I got to the top

I’d arrange them into my initials

so everyone would know I’d been there.

I started to practice this.

But they said the mountain 

was a slag heap, not a mountain

and therefore out of bounds.

Why?

No one said.


We stayed on the beach a long time.

Then we went to a toy shop.

My father bought me a doll 

with real hair, they said.

But it was made of nylon.

I called her Gloria.

That was the best bit.

but nothing was 

as it had been

inside my head.



https://ephemeralelegies.com/2021/02/01/expectations-by-lynn-white/




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