Off Season

Fairfield County Beach - Lifeguard Off Duty
In the off season, all things gay and wild and full of choleric swirl give way to a hangdog mood. No pink flying discs or overturned sandcastle buckets.

In the off season, there are silences in unexpected pockets. Silences filling the wide open days, broken only by a gull cry, a car door, the once or twice splash of a startled, choking wave on the sand.

Off season there are no shoeprints. Only birdtracks.

Off season, windless day, sunless day, empty sea. A sea on its back, floating and unconcerned, staring at its reflection in the empty sky.

In the off season, the moves are subtle, pleasures simple. Enjoy the beach. The sand, the grit of pounded coastline, years of pressure, eons of battered edges, pliable edges, corroding one into another. Soft and softer, saturation of one element into another.

All this will be noise. All this will clatter again, soon, with the slashing of plastic shovels, rubber rafts humping the tide.

But in this day, the off season licks the salt from the rim and sips. Time is down and the beach is here, to enjoy.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.