Ruth Foley

It sailed through the air at the end of November,
ruby glass saved through the year. Vivian got
two cheap goblets from Pier One for Christmas;
I had a perfume bottle I found at a flea market
last spring; my father had some red and blue striped
monstrosity he'd picked up from God knows where—
a vase big enough to hold a bushel of beach plums,
and a mismatched trio of wine glasses, so ugly
it was a pleasure to watch them fly and smash
hard against the farthest rock out in the tide pools,
the one that looked like the back of a whale
just breaching the surface. This was when we still
collected beach glass, when we walked head-down
as the tide slipped out, when we searched for reds
and blues—the rarest colors glinting damp
and salted in the wash. This was when we still called
the tide pools the factory and stocked them at Thanksgiving,
tossing the colors we wanted towards the waves,
willing to wait for the surf to polish the shards,
wear them down to jewels. This was before
we knew how worn we had become. This was when
we looked at the deepening rose sky in late
afternoon and pulled our coats close and raced
back up the beach path to what we still called home.

Return to Fall 2011 Table of Contents