‘The Nudist Beach’ by Dorothy Lehane

The Nudist Beach

What we musn’t ignore, says Dad,
are the difficulties and responsibilities
of the Penis. We mustn’t ignore that.

Mum looks up from the Catholic Times,

tuts, goes back. I look out toward France;
the hazy line of sailing boats,
stocky, athletic calves dividing
the horizon. The old men want me

to see them, hiding behind rocks,
grabbing themselves whilst no-one
else is watching; pot-bellied nudes
in socks and sandals, tongues out.
(from The Rialto 71)
Dorothy Lehane teaches Creative Writing at Kent University. She received first prize for the Norwich Writers’ Circle 2012 Competition, was short-listed for the 2010 and 2012 Bridport Poetry Prize and was awarded Canterbury Poet of the Year in 2009.