Sunny End to a Beach Vacation

by Louise Yeiser

The fat lady waded into the Gulf that shimmered with fluorescent opals, after the sky finally released its cold, angry gray, to melt into a sheet of cerulean. If she had looked for her feet, she wouldn't have found them without bending over to peer around her huge, bulbous belly. But she would have felt the strands of seaweed that tried to circle and tangle themselves between her legs. And she certainly would have seen the minnows coasting and darting around her, and the cloudy swirls of current that shifted the space beneath her feet with every wave, making it hard for her to stand still in one spot. I watched her sway slightly, and slowly stretch her arms, reaching around the sea from opposite directions, arching her back, spreading her ribs, and opening her heart to the air and water, and all the space she could see looking up, down, sideways, and in. She inhaled all if it, and let it be.

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Louise Yeiser, whose full catalog is here, wrote this in her last hour spent in Naples, Florida, and wishes she could have left her suitcases sitting by the door and traded places with the lady outside her window.