As a child I loved to receive seaside postcards and, back then, before affordable air travel whisked us away to the Costas, holiday greetings tended to be sent from popular Northern Irish coastal resorts like Portrush, located on a peninsula extending into the chilly Atlantic Ocean. This poem was inspired by the reminiscences of my elderly Aunt Marion, who, as a young girl, spent an idyllic holiday there with her best friend.
I've used a simple abcabc rhyme scheme and octosyllabic lines in an attempt to recreate the animation that I recall hearing in my Aunt's voice as she told me about those far-off, joyous days.
We leapt like mermaids, screamed and froze,
while breakers splashed our thighs with spray.
As the Box Brownie camera snapped,
we vainly tried to hold a pose.
Behind us, the Atlantic lay,
endless, eternal, arctic-capped.
And afterwards, we wrapped ourselves
in rugs to shelter from the wind.
We hugged each other, laughing, there
beneath black, jagged coastal shelves
where sea-pinks grew. Thus, we were twinned
in friendship: an aquatic pair.