Bonfires and Handkerchiefs

by Carolin Messier


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Bonfire on the beach
smells of toasted marshmallows
summer camp and old friends
who wrap their arms around you
and simply hold you as you weep
in the aisle of the island mercantile
between the bandanas and white vinegar
remembering the faded handkerchiefs
you pulled from his trouser pockets
as you boxed them for the shelter
after he was gone.