Afternoon Sun at the End of Summer


The children wade naked and thigh-deep

in stone-colored water. They duck under

and come up flinging drops from their hair.

Wind raises gooseflesh on their arms.

Touch is the miracle, wrote Whitman.

Touch is the earth’s language and the children

speak it. They revel in it. Wind and water,

and the hard, wave-patterned sand underfoot.

Sound, in its flutter against the inner ear,

and light’s weightless impingement

on the intricate, seven-layered retina.


Emily Tuszynska lives in Fairfax, Virginia. Other recent work of hers can be read in Poetry Northwest, Water-Stone Review, Salamander, the Southern Review, and elsewhere.