I worry we’ll be lost in the forest of crying pines. I want to find the sea, to reach the beach. You say trust me, but I don’t, we argue, sand in my throat. I want to claim the dunes, the bathing shed, the outside shower. I know exactly where Aunty parked her car under this tree, over here where uncle swam nude at night alone, where the men from Taiwan caught the crabs, where we built a fire with your father, cooked snarlers ,drank wine, where my Dad knelt in trousers to drink tea…how he hated sand and how silly I looked in my cut away togs with my waxed bruised thighs.
We’re going forward. I can no longer claim to have lain on that bank in my bikini and they’ve moved the herons too so we can cycle through to Richmond close to the road where we waited by the mouth to the sea on school mornings with our net and a milk bottle for the whitebait. Where’s the scout hall, the footbridge, the rubbish dump, the catch in the back of my throat freshly killed meat smell?
All my secret roads are gone and our river’s changed course.