Shells line the shore, empty waiting to catch a child’s eye,
to be rearranged into shapes and swirls of imagination,
the click of the empty whelk homes amidst the chattering.
And the sheltering sand creeps into every gap it can find.
Laughter spills over to spread delight to the racing waters
that threaten the pearly patterns as they surge and swell.
Somewhere, the weeping cry of a seagull is drowned out
by a bawling baby belting out their needs into a rising tide.
Soothing voices are lost in the hushing of gentling waves,
and the birds rise squabbling over a butty bite left behind,
As the ocean takes back its domain, sticky tired families
go home, sand filled. Carrying memories of fun and foam.