Faces on a Beach


We had seen them several times,

Walking slowly along, as were we.

On each occasion, we exchanged nods,

Yet we did not stop to speak.


We imagined that she was a corporate big wig

And that he was a medical man.

Perhaps, that is why they did not stop.

After all, we are neither of those things.


We wondered whether they lived on the island

Or whether their flight had been as long as ours.

We imagined that they were staying

At the uber-upscale hotel down the beach from ours.


And, then, on the night before we left for home,

We saw them in the lobby of our hotel.

They were pleading unhappily with the concierge

For two, just two, tickets to the Circle Island Tour.


We looked at each other, and

Each of us gave a smile and a nod.

We reached into our pockets,

And passed our tickets to the unhappy pair.


“Go ahead. Take them,” we said.

“We’ve been on the tour before.”

“We can’t thank you enough,” they said.

“We’ve waited nearly 50 years to come here.”


“Then, let’s celebrate!” we said.

“Dinner at the open air lanai next door?”

“Oh, we could never afford that,” they said.

“But if you don’t mind hamburgers . . .”


Across the street we walked,

The four of us together.

I’m surprised we weren’t hit by a bus,

As silly we laughed along the way.


Into the chain burger place we went.

We ate and talked and laughed

Until the manager showed us out.

The clock, it seemed, had struck twelve.


The next night, we picked up take away

And met them on the beach,

Where we spread a blanket and ate

And heard about their day.


And then, on our final day,

As we boarded our flight home,

We found our seats right beside theirs

In four-across tourist class.

Copyright 2016, Virginia Tolles. All rights reserved



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