‘La Playa’ & ‘Single Use’ by Stephanie Hrehirchuk

soft cartel april 2018

La Playa

2 in a canoe
2 snorklers
I wish I’d learned the language.
Not me, not yet.
Not the white tourists in hats and sunscreen.
The locals playing
beach tennis
beach volleyball
Was that a dragonfly that flew by?
Pink string bikini
Music, salsa, alive as the ocean,
on the breeze
She misses and falls.
Her partner laughs and yells
She throws sand at him
Mucho conversation
I wish I’d learned the language.
Mucho laughter – a universal language
Tourists read
Locals play
That is a dragonfly
Play pauses
My husband taps my leg.

A hummingbird
Pulls at the net
Fodder for her nest
They wait for her.
¡Hermosa! ¡Magnifica!
She tugs and tugs,
Takes her leave

Play resumes
On the playa.

Single Use

I am sorry
for my part.
50% of your tourism
comes from my country, my home
so I am partly to blame
for the dolphins in the dingy pen
dancing for dollars
sentenced to confinement.

For the staggering amount of plastic:
water bottles, poolside and oceanside,
snack trays on catamarans
hold plastic-wrapped crackers and chips
single-use cups
single-use snorkels.

For this morning’s chemical cocktail served by plane,
by golf cart,
covering beach,
palm trees,
pools and people
to kill the mosquitos.
But where were the bees?
I saw one dead
and one alive.

For the layer of sunscreen
that dances with the bug spray
an ugly salsa
on the waves of the ocean.

For the Afro-Cuban beats
belching from speakers
on the beach,
at the pools,
on the boats.

For the mountain of lobster
dragged from the ocean
served up for dinner
to the demands of

Stephanie Hrehirchuk is the author of Anna and the Earth Angel, Anna and the Tree Fort, and Nourish: Ayurveda-inspired 21-day Detox, with art and poetry published in the collective work Alberta Skies, through Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, Calgary. She was a regular contributor at Gaiam, with articles featured in Sivana Spirit, Finder Minds, Guided Synergy Magazine, and Trifecta Magazine. Find her at stephaniehrehirchuk.com.

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