A day at the beach

we spent that day at the beach:
my kids trying to catch the sun
trapped in the water

lying on a blanket
I entertained myself
by digging in the sand

the hole was shallow
like a begging hand
it didn’t hold much:
few tiny stones with unfamiliar shape

then I dug out a cigarette
precious cigarette
and a cheap petrol lighter
I remembered them well

I continued to remove the sand
with each handful
fine grains nested deeper
under fingernails

I found pieces of jewellery
lost years ago
old phone
and the book with my notes

I dug quickly like a dog
when I found hair:
I first pulled out my old friend
then a girl

I uncovered a house
with a garden
and old tram-tracks
I finally reached the bottom

I saw an old man
sitting on a rock
smiling sadly he said
time is a place