Winter-Bare

Isn’t every three year-old kid
at least part dinosaur,
even the giant leaf-eaters
capable of a great roar?

Winter beach flats, tide out,
a break in the bleakness,
rain longing to be slush or more
dripping from everything
but the sky at the moment.

We are taking off our gloves,
hold these Dad he orders,
and tentatively poking at emerald
anemones and spined urchins.

At beach’s Alder-edge,
beyond the drift-logs
and fallen-down rye-grass
a swarm, a tribe,
maybe just children
offer marshmallowed spears
to the fickle, twig-fire.

Here comes little Benni, being big,
adjusting his thick mittens,
then cracking a crooked smirk and wailing.

A wail that’s part t-rex,
part train.
A whistle-roar, such an
unexpected greeting

to those hunkering
in this primal
whistle-stop beach
a momentary break
in the January rain.

On boots, on bottoms
these tough dino-kids tramp,
scoot, and scramble.
Hooded and rain-suited,
gear that is hand-me-down hardened
for Southeast Alaska’s worst.

Up slick, rocky game-trails
through berry bushes winter-bare,
then up crumbling beach cliff

where they push, wiggle
and wait their turn to slide
the muddy chute.

Our kids, oblivious to
the returning rain,
now driving us parents
to huddle under
hastily hung-tarp
near the small-sphere our fire.

We eat cold breakfast-
whiskey from flasks,
and argue our winged
escape routes
to snowier places.

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