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Second Chances
by Candace Turner

In the early morning she walks the deserted beach
Hair wind wild, sun streaked
Naked beneath a shapeless, threadbare sundress
Its reds now pinks, blues greys, yellows white

Arms outstretched to catch the day
White foam bites her sandy toes
Begs a flutter of innocence
She is an illusion of freedom

He stands alone
Barefoot, bare-chested
Grey hair captured in a wispy ponytail
Casts his line again and again
Wind swallows his greeting
She nods good morning

One morning when the sun
Merely peeks
Through the clouds
She strolls homeward
He points to a battered grey thermos
Steam rises from the cup
Offered in his outstretched hand

They sit side by side on the sand
Sip black coffee
Watch the tide come in
Distance misjudged
The sea reclaims its beach
She runs into the surf to rescue
Her sandals

He walks to the water's edge
Watches as she struggles
Arms extend to help
Their hands clasp
Laughter as she stumbles into his arms
Her sandals held high in victory

His eyes linger on her body
Visible through her sodden dress
He offers her his sweat-stained shirt
Her hands fumble on the buttons
There's a moment; Just a moment
When the promise of something more
Crosses their minds


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