One of the Reasons

Glob some sunscreen on his nose
and the caricature’s complete.
So I think while watching my uncle
hobble down the shore
and weave through rows of teens
growing brown beneath the sun,
the glint from his metal detector
still visible from half a mile.

I hope the headphones
shield him well
from the laughter I know will come:
some girl on break from college
will tap her sleeping boyfriend
and point a finger at my uncle,
kneeling in the sand,
digging with his fingers.

“What a day for treasures,”
he says when he returns
and rolls some faceless coin
between his sweaty fingers.
Reading pity in my grin,
he tosses me the coin.
“Because it might have been forgotten,”
he whispers before winking.
“That’s just one of the reasons why.”

Daniel Leach earned his BA in English from Clemson University in 2008. Since then, he has taught English at various high schools across South Carolina. He currently works at a high school on James Island, South Carolina. His work has been published (or is upcoming) in Deep South Magazine, 2 Bridges Review, and drafthorse literary journal.