Green Hills Literary Lantern




The dusky beach held fog ideal

for tossing high a Pinky—

a small, hollow, pink rubber ball.


The Pinky disappeared

into the pea-soupy distance

between us and our two vacation-buzzed boys


then reappeared the moment before it nearly—

or did—smack a toe, bop a shoulder or thump

the soft sand behind them or us, making someone jump.


The boys loved this game; loved anticipating the Pinky scare;

(hated being faked out, waiting and waiting, when I appeared

to hurl but hurled nothing at all);


loved scaring us back with their amazingly accurate shots;

loved, most of all, hearing their mother’s high, girlish scream

at the Pinky’s unheralded, grenade-like appearance:


this Pinky thrown with equal parts love and mischief;

this stream of Pinky projectiles—each year traveling higher

and landing harder—coming at us.



A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Mark Belair is a drummer based in New York City. His poems are forthcoming in Fulcrum and Mudfish, and have appeared in The Green Hills Literary Lantern, Slipstream and Wisconsin Review.