Seaside Staycation

By Roger McGough

We made it to the beach at 5am and set about our tasks.
Mine to erect the windbreaker using anti-bacterial masks
The kids to build sandcastles in a circle round our plot
While my wife dug out the trench then went to fetch the Rot.

(We call it Ruby, though the dog is a he,
as fearsome as a borrowed rottweiler can be.)

Safe in our bubble, no super-spreaders we,
Anti-social distancing we had down to a T.
Lying low on our lilos, the kids on their phones
Ruby barking at seagulls or gnawing at their bones.

At 8 a.m., music blaring, we were settled and prepared
To scare away the vanguard of the incoming herd.
The union jack fluttering marked our domain
When, at 8.15 precisely came the first drops of rain.

What began as a breeze turned into a gale
The spatter of raindrops, the staccato of hail.
A hurricane in a hurry came within reach
As clouds retched and vomited all over the beach.

The trench filled with water, the sandcastles subsided
When the windbreaker took flight, we took fright and decided
Enough was enough, so we lowered the flag
Wrapped it round our pasties and stuck it in the bag.

The car park, a marina with a single white boat
Our van as it happens, already afloat.
Seaside staycations? Never again.
The day after tomorrow we’re leaving for Spain.

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