Tag Archives: poem

Garden Hose Water (Rough Draft)

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We were resourceful in the 90s; We  had to be

in the summertime, when we were letting

the cool air out,

the critters in

so neighborhood mothers seemed to scream

in unison “Don’t go in and out of this house! Either

go outside or stay inside.”

 

I was sentenced outside after ingesting

too many music videos, trash talk shows

–and other reasons mamma could inject

the word “garbage” into her conversations with me.

It was the same summer I was banned from sitting

in her room as she watched soap operas

because a blond actress considered abortion.

I was learning too much for a nine year old.

 

Life was better outside anyway, even as the sun

baked our coffee skin three shades darker; my age

group four houses down agreed. Behind our parents’

watch, we could balance on bikes with no hands

until we skinned our knees, poke holes in ant hills

to watch their scrambling anger, and explore houses

gutted and abandoned by foreclosure.

 

Still nothing compared to when we needed water

after chasing my friend’s many brothers through

backyards, exhausting our sweat glands, lungs,

neighbors screaming empty threats over trespassing.

Panting with hands on our knees, I barely had power

to follow them to their backyard, dodging their doberman

and two (illegal) chickens who were too scarred

by our rough definitions of play to approach us.

 

This was the first time I sipped from their garden

hose, holding the green tube at an angle then lowering

my head to the stream, just the way I watched them.

Sometimes little drops would leap and mix

with the sweat that beaded on my forehead.

Almost immediately, my insides caught a breeze.

 

It was well over 95 degrees; we were just starting

to care, but endured the fever until submitting to

the taste of finding salvation, guzzling silver

reflections until we cramped, later picking

fights and teammates until the streetlights.

And the next day, and after,

the routine began again until school ended recess.

 

Today, after swallowing  yard work

sweat, I tried to find solace

in garden hose water again. Spoiled

by bottled water, I couldn’t find that old oasis.

I grimaced:

“This tastes like a liquid rusty nail.”

I ain’t lying; This could’ve been the truth

many summers ago, too.

 

Tornado Watch

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The season waits in the bathroom, clutching

pillows, a blanket,

 

the serious tone of the weatherman

waiting for the worst.

 

Afternoon clouds are night. Young willows give

up and bend, waiting to snap.

 

Listen for the freight train in the funnel. They say

it’ll be over before it can ponder the damage.

 

But the waiting room seems eternal.

 

 

Midnight Connection

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I showed you naked fragments,

how years at a time without it

were overcast. This is why you

held my hands with pleading eyes

at the door, wrapped me in cologne

longer and tighter than usual in the dark.

 

I couldn’t stay, stray away from home,

even if you’re lonely. But thank you

for the teenage blush back in the days,

while still blooming on paper.

 

I’ll see you later.

Someday, when you’re absently

flipping through new pages,  you’ll

bump into a different woman and reminisce.