Sizzling rays of sun bounce off the glimmer of incoming tide; a boy and a girl on the sand, push and laugh and dare each other to rush and dip their toes in ice-cold water. Their squeals carry on the air, distorted by endless emptiness to sound like some rare species of bird, unaccustomed to this vast vacant beach, and desperate to find a mate in these strange deserted times.
Contextual Essay: The beach has always been a place of contemplation for me. The tides, the waves and the prevailing weather, can reflect buoyant, optimistic emotions but also turbulent, sad or ambivalent emotions.
Over the last two-and-a-half years, it has at times reflected all of these.
At all times, however, it has ultimately provided a place of peace.
Margaret Zanardo is a Sydney poet, writer and graphic designer. She has a background in languages, art and English literature. In recent years she has tutored in high school English and creative writing, and also edited academic papers.