Hanauma Bay, 1971

by
Peggy Hong <peggyh@netwurx.net>

She's wearing her brand new
Oleg Cassini maillot, puffy
and yellow and pointy
cupped, like some
blowfish or
a pineapple.
She and her friend sashay
down the curving
path to the beach, while
I slump
ten paces behind.

And I refuse
to pose with them
for any of those pictures.
I stomp off, my hair
still tangly 'cause
she hasn't combed it. My stomach
growls with not enough breakfast.
I tug at my polka-dotted two-piece,
a summer past its proper fit and
bleached orange by the sun. I wipe
salt air and sand from my eyes.

See? That's me hiding my filly legs
and narrow ass
behind the palm tree.

And see? That's my mother,
the one with the round
sunglasses, smiling
like the tradewinds
that Saturday afternoon, for once
revealing her large straight teeth,
as she poses in the unbuttoned
terry coverup. Pale legs cross
in the lemon yellow suit
against the big hairy cliffs
at Hanauma Bay. And neither
she nor my father behind
the admiring camera
pay any mind
to the girl with the matted hair
trying to get lost
in the grove of trees.

Look. That's her high school friend,
hanging on her arm like Korean
schoolgirls do, covering
her mouth as she titters, embarrassed
by her best friend's radiance.


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