We hardly noticed the sea
as we sold ice cream, pots of tea
to the tourists, stuffing pound notes
into our apron pockets.
André, newly arrived from Hungary
slipped into his role as capitalist
in charge of a beach kiosk,
watching us like the KGB.
Occasionally, we thrust our hands
into the depths of the freezer,
mutilated a choc-ice or two
for immediate consumption.
In the evenings, young US airmen
enjoyed the cold war, drank beer,
fondled the local amenities.
We learned a lot.
On the pier, slot machines
chattered like machine guns,
a thousand miles from Budapest.