Counting on the Beach

The small boys in that car are gone

Trapper Markelz
1 min readMay 24, 2021


We talked about it in the car,
a trip we should not have driven,
down to the sea house, the gray stones
and sand, rum and organs. I stayed

in the corner while you did splay
yourself in the shadows. They called
me in, but I played pretend. So
I walked solo on the still beach

in the early dawn, too cloudy
for a sunrise, watched the tide
come instead. Why play weak?
I tried it for years. Who taught me

that pity powered the flytrap?
Next time, I’ll say yes.
But there will not be a next time
because we are all grown up now,

paired off, living in the cities.
The small boys in that car are gone.
But not that beach and not that breeze
and not the things we cannot change.

© Trapper Markelz 2021

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Trapper Markelz

Trapper Markelz (he/him) is a poet who writes from Boston, MA. His work has appeared in numerous journals and publications. Check out