The Boogie Boarder

 PaipoSurfingAtPolzeath-UK-E18446_600

Of the thousands who have fled the heatwave
simmering over the hills and valleys
only a few brave the icy waters
of the clear Pacific at Stinson Beach.

One man, mid-fifties-weekend-warrior type –
looks like a beet stuffed into black neoprene –
rides a boogie board in on the whitewash
of waves arriving from places unknown.

He wears a look of great surprise and joy
upon his face, as if he might be asked
to stop all this shameless exuberance
by a lifeguard or yard duty lady.

After he fails his first attempt to paddle
out past the breaking waves, he rolls
in, tangling himself up in the bull kelp
before a row of amused onlookers.

He laughs, throwing his arms up towards the sky
when the wave topple him, never minding
that all those children see him try again
while his wife looks worriedly away.

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