Ashley Mace Havird

Beach Music

                Myrtle Beach, 1966

Convertibles blared down the boulevard:
Under the boardwalk . . . What kind of fool . . .
Ain’t too proud to beg . . . Thirteen,
I flashed Vs for peace at soldiers on leave. 

My too-long legs itched to run.
The air was charged with Krispy Kreme,
Coppertone, foot-longs, sea spray.
My grandmother squeezed my hand till it hurt

at the saltwater taffy machine
whose metal arms worked pastel ribbons,
its window framed with colored lights 
reflecting her face lit up like a child’s. Stay,

just a little bit longer . . .
We were so close to the rides,
I could hear the clack clack clack
of the roller coaster teasing up

its wooden scaffold—release so close—
the screaming plunge.

Ashley Mace Havird                            

Ashley Mace Havird is the author of four collections of poems, most recently Wild Juice (LSU Press, Southern Messenger Poets Series, 2021). The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014) won the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, recently ImageSewanee Review, and Literary Matters. Her novel, Lightningstruck (Mercer University Press, 2016), won the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction.