On Beesands beach Grandad taught
us how to find the fat, flat stones,
the ones with the perfect weight.
Next lesson, the throw:
the crouch and arched arm
and the quick snap of the wrist
that shoots the stone spinning
and gunning the waves, bouncing
until the energy has gone.
We could never beat Granddad.
He had driven tanks
all over Europe. On this coast
the Allies practised the D-Day landings
until a German U-Boat slipped into the net, sent
tanks and men down to join the stones.
We never knew what he thought.
Sometimes he carried on alone
while my brother and I dropped
rocks into the waves,
satisfied with the huge gulping plop.
We skimmed the peaks of summer
caught in the years' unending tide.
Matthew James Friday has had poems published in numerous international journals, including, recently: Borderless (India), Acta Victoriana (Canada), and Into the Void (Canada). The mini-chapbooks All the Ways to Love, Waters of Oregon and The Words Unsaid were published by the Origami Poems Project (USA).