Surf-zest in her face she pounded in the first stake, for what was meant to be;
a tall round hut of imported spices she would offer to the public at the sea.
Her sacks and bags with foreign tags, laid piled upon the dampening sand,
while her wild hair blowing in the wind, escaped from its multi- colored band.
Passerbys stopped to criticize, to speculate about her choice of place.
They shook their heads, predicting her eventual failure and disgrace.
“Why in the world my dear,” they said, “would you set up shop exactly here?
The waves will take it down, the salty breeze will make your spices disappear.”
Her olive skin did glisten, her strong tan arms arranging, peppered by the briny spray.
She chose to remain silent, and only her large black eyes spoke up, sparkling like midday.
So soon her makeshift hut was done, and jars of spices stood lined up in casual rows,
and the barefoot curious stopped to look, squishing the soft wet sand between their toes.
The names were clearly written on the labels, although no prices could be seen;
ground nutmeg, turmeric, cumin, za’atar, and a tall bottle of rose water in between,
tart and tangy karkadey, sumac and cardamom, cinnamon sticks in honey to suck upon,
whole cloves and ginger root, ground cayenne pepper, curry and red and yellow saffron.
She opened up a jar and scooped a spoonful, holding it out in front of her as if to tease the wind,
and the little grains began to fly, forming a cloud that colored her hair and face as it blew in.
Then she opened others, one after another, until her hair and skin were like an ongoing painting,
that’s when the crowd began to realize, she was not selling spices after all, but instead was entertaining.
The breeze of salty water mixed with cardamom and cinnamon was an aromatic rinse upon her hair,
with full rose-watered lips, she sucked those honey sticks and fluttered dancing hands into the air.
The onlookers grew until they formed a throng now mesmerized, while she perfumed herself in dance,
and there was not one left upon that sunset beach, who was not spiced just right, into her charm-like trance.
Her finale was the offering of the fine- ground residue, flinging it generously upon those gathered there,
the pungent reds and greens and yellows mixed with salty briny gusts, now settled in their hair.
Then pressing cloves into the eager outstretched hands, ginger roots, red petals of dried karkadey,
she thought, “The waves can have my make-shift stage, as I am all finished for today.”
Colored and stained artistically, abstractly painted by the brush of surf and breeze,
she ambled gracefully down the beach, smelling so exotically like the Middle East.
Twirling her two bags as if they were scarves, she broke into her own fan-dance ballet,
until her figure finally disappeared into the coastline, for all of those who watched her walk away.
Oct. 10, 2012
LINC Island Renacer SL