The Aftermath

Anne, Melinda and Jo massaged on Bangtao Beach
Anne, Melinda and Jo massaged on Bangtao Beach

Sated with spicy salads of soft shell crab

and chilled lime

we slide onto the beach.

 

Pale sand,

piebald with pools,

silent as inkblots.

Sideways, barefoot,

I find a bamboo beds of peace

where I lie pillowed

on one cheek

beneath a faded parasol,

staring at the silent shore.

 

My eyes follow

boxered youths

with skinny legs

who wade knee-deep

in shallow sea,

while I am pummelled,

lulled and slicked

with citrus oil

by a wide Thai –

my lipsticked, calm,

beached Buddha

with a laugh that rises, like birdsong to the palmtops.

Paradise indeed.

Her hand flips like a pancake

so I rotate to where I see her smile.

 

A black-gloved man

comes near.

She gives him cash

as freely as bread to ducklings.

“Your son?” I ask.

“Oh no,” she says.

He’s young. I’m bold.

“Your husband?”

“She no husband,” blurts her friend.

The pink smile, with the wind home laugh replies.

“He die in Tsunami.”

Her gaze drifts out to the gentle horizon.

“No jobs.”

I chill.


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