Hand in hand they walked
for miles, cellophane heat rippling
in the middle distance. No shade,
no shade, and it was hot there
on the blacktop, where stillness
settled between the pines growing
within throwing distance
of the shoulder.
Their palms sweated, salt air
passing from her to him,
and back again,
and, always, the lighthouse,
somewhere off to the right, though
often out of view. His face
reddened, her nose burnt, and
they longed for water, and for
the bicycles they earlier refused,
as if they had forgotten how to ride.
Perhaps, if they had practiced
how to pedal and steer,
how to keep their balance,
they wouldn't have lost their way
and become separated,
he at one end of a long, sere road,
she, all the way out here, at the other,
neither able to put one foot in front
of the other, to retrace the miles again.
The lighthouse is no longer
on her right, but behind her, far
enough behind that, though she
sometimes strains to see,
she can barely discern its beacon.
(c) 2017, by Hannah Six