Slupped from the can onto a plate
Sliding in oily mucous matter
Split with a knife
Served in a white bread sandwich with
We’re in Chincoteague, May 1982, and so abundant are the jellyfish on the sand that we can’t go wading. We abandon the beach altogether and take a hike to see the ponies instead. In the car Mom’s been reading us Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry, to give us a little of the lore about the ponies.
Mary’s toddler hat has a green plastic panel in its wide brim that acts like sunglasses. I’m wearing Dad’s lawn-mowing hat. Heading toward the ocean, I get dizzy looking down at my feet–why is the water coming up diagonally and why is the sand moving when I’m not? I’m sinking. I fall, caught up in a knee high wave, then tumble, screaming, until Dad plucks me up and leads me back to my towel.