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Myrtle Beach, S.C.

I always look forward to visiting you in late March, to our afternoons on the beach, when we sit side by side in canvas chairs as we used to sit in school. You knit to the rhythm of our voices, and I watch your capable hands conducting the needles as they take bite after bite from sky-blue yarn. You push the stitches back in bunches as if they were blocking your thoughts.

The sun does not yet have that sting of meanness, and I can gamble my virgin winter skin the first day out. The atmosphere is charged with ecstasy of spring. Sea gulls dive into the waves like bullets, come screaming up, having silenced their prey.

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Little children are playing just beyond the hiss of crawling foam, then suddenly jump up, stretch to the horizon, train their voices against the rumbling waves, pour the sea over each other from red buckets.

My sigh dies between us in the breeze, but you look up and smile at me with the enigma of the sea; and with every stitch you snatch a bit more sky for your endless yarn of memories.

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