How to Body Surf

1 April
NaPoWriMo prompt: write a poem based on a secret shame or a secret pleasure.
Oh, Mom. You sure you want to do that? I mean, you don’t really want to do that, do you?”
“Oh yes I do!”
For the past 50 years, it’s been both a shame and a pleasure to body surf (depending on my age, level of success, and whether or not my kids/parents/friends were watching). As for secrecy, their embarrassment of my age and its corresponding level of success at body surfing has been a secret source of pride and pleasure. (Shame on me, right?)

How to Body Surf

One for the money.
Wade belly-button-high into the sea.
Numb to the thrill of the chill.

Two for the show.
Patience now.
Wait for just the right swell;
he may be well offshore and crestless.
Nevertheless, he’s already spotted you.
You’re a marked target and
won’t be missed.
Out rolls a liquid dancefloor
just for the two of you.

Three to get ready.
Play hard to get.
Turn your back on his moves.
Let that smooth dude come to you.
Don’t peek!
Stand your ground.
Keep your eyes on the prize:
a spot in the drying sand
out of his reach.
Bend your knees — ready
to bound when his little ripples
tap your shoulders to ask
for his very last chance
to cavort and dance.

Now Go! Go! GO!
Either glide and ride or dive deep.
Whichever you choose,
lunge just beyond his embrace.
Do. not. let. him. catch. you!
If you do, he’ll nasty-slap-wrap
right around you, take you down
to the breathless hell
of pebbles and shells where
there will be nothing left to do but
scrape yourself up and
swoosh away his handfuls of sand
from your droopy suit.


Written by Elizabeth Boquet, April 2018

3 thoughts on “How to Body Surf

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