LIGHTHOUSE

by Vanessa Burns

lying on her faded little mermaid towel
on the bleached, golden sand,
cousins baking dirt cookies and mud pies
the planets revolved around her eyes and the
waves bowed down at her toes,
listening; taking all of her in.
her very sighs absorbed into the water and
reverberated across valleys and prairies and skyscrapers and rainforests,
like snoring in a room full of crickets.
a lighthouse marks the horizon of countless postcards;
we know it means the beach and
the ocean and
abandoned buildings.
it sits still and
looks pretty for the
picture.
but the lighthouse,
remember that it
radiates against the polluted sky, it
conducts the procession of travelers;
and it still stands tall,
unchanging
through the wind, and seasons, and
neglect.
the girl smiles
as she takes off her cover-up and stands up, and
runs fearlessly into the ocean –
the valleys, the prairies, the skyscrapers, the rainforests.

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