A level expanse in Tamarindo,
As if machine-rolled at low tide.
Smooth enough for bowls or croquet,
Sitting softly on a broad spit
Between a waist-deep estuary,
The Pacific and its far horizon.
We set our poles and guy ropes
Hang the net, mark the boundaries,
Then launch into vigorous play.
Our patch is soon a trampled jumble:
Criss-crossing imprints of action,
Of hands, feet, knees and elbows.
We leave a portrait of human energy,
Interrupting a surround of smoothness.
But should we return tomorrow
There’ll be no proof of our presence.
The knowing tide is a relentless eraser,
Nature’s moon-driven Zamboni.
Charles B. Neff
January 4, 2013