Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City, Maryland

When mermaids–laughing, young, and sweet–
Shift from flippers to ten-toed feet,
Beware of smiles that lure you there–
Of rosy cheeks and curly hair.
For they won’t stay that way for long,
And all you’ll keep is their sweet song.

A Dark Wind

Ormond Beach, Florida

Ormond Beach, Florida

A dark wind blew your smile away,
And brought tears upon your cheek,
But don’t let sorrow rule the day.

How heavy this must surely weigh,
And now your world is bleak.
A dark wind blew your smile away.

So tempting to give grief its sway,
To despair and feel weak.
But don’t let sorrow rule the day!

And overwhelmed in this dismay,
You emit a silent shriek.
A dark wind blew your smile away.

If I could give you joy’s bouquet,
If there were only some technique—
But don’t let sorrow rule the day.

Find joy and laugh again, I pray.
Find just one happy streak.
A dark wind blew your smile away,
But don’t let sorrow rule the day.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

At Cocoa Beach, I chased the sun,
And caught it everywhere.
Like all those shuttles launched nearby,
It blasted through the air.

At Cocoa Beach, I played in sand–
Grains running through my toes.
And soon the sand was everywhere–
My hair, my ears, my nose.

At Cocoa Beach, I stood in waves,
That had a pleasant beat.
And when those waves crashed upon me–
They helped to fight the heat.

At Cocoa Beach, the day was done.
I took my pail and spade;
Walked slowly back across the beach,
And thought of how I’d played.

Note to Josie: During lunch at the Mango Tree, you charmed a woman in her seventies, who was chatty and talked about the early days of space travel and the corresponding excitement in this area of the U.S. She said that in those days, you could expect to see an astronaut and his family having dinner in a local restaurant, and that Walter Cronkite would likely be there in a corner.