Autonomous Selfing in Cayton Bay by Paul Hodgson

The surfers are on the back water as we stutter down the concrete path. The spray glints off the wave backs with the offshore wind.

We look for a clear spot between families, far enough from soggy dogs. So many outsiders sat on our sand. They weren’t here when the wind ripped through winter coats. Fidelity.

An eye corner tells me she is looking at the eldest son of a family a little further down the beach. We go to our usual spot. Loyalty

I’ve brought a blanket and some bottles and we sit down to listen to the waves and watch the people. She sits close, shuffling up until her head is laid on my shoulder and we stay locked, embraced. After a while I’m uncomfortable and need to move, and realise why she sat on my right, to look down the beach at that family. That’s when I know I’ve lost her, and that the town has lost her, but its fruit set looks high this year.

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