Your back turned to me
as you stare out into the sea
on the day it was supposed to be
so much warmer than this.
I make eye contact
with a little red, curly dog
him trotting over to me, pushing his
cold, wet black nose in my palm
then running off to chase little birds
that have landed on the sand beyond us.
If only it were that easy to ask for affection.
I watch as you get farther away
along the shoreline, just a black speck
among the other silhouettes
combing the sand for seashells.
Jennifer Novotney’s poetry appears in Red Eft Review, Mad Swirl, and Still Point Arts Quarterly. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and won the Tipton Poetry Journal Featured Poem Award. Her debut novel received the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. She lives in Pennsylvania, where she teaches English.