Daddy said yes to the pool with that girl
so I finished the sign Watermelons
for Sale $1.00: that green and red slice
made a half-moon with bug-like LEM on top.
Oh my in that frilly bikini then
her slim legs churning the bubblegum sheen
of a ramshackle motel’s lukewarm pool
on I guess my first sorta halfway date?
Hair damp and heart thumping back at the store
we locked the door for an hour not to watch
but to buy eggs sold cheap down a dirt road
in the woods. Was the truck’s radio on?
Pretty sure I knew it was coming up,
but Daddy didn’t seem to care a whit.
It would happen or not was just his way.
Something else the war schooled him over
that he couldn’t unlearn is what I think.
The eggs rattled between us on the seat
while I sniffed the chlorine on my fingers
and in my hair and the dust plumed behind
I’d like to imagine all the way up
to where those clunky boots we later learned
stepped down from a ladder to a sea where
even now on full moon nights it all seems
jumbled up like something I must have dreamed
thin legs that splatter a pool’s blue water
fat cleats imprinting a virgin beach
in the eggshell gleam of the moon’s reflection
half forgotten, except everything’s changed.