June 23, 2009

when we were kids, mom was married
and dad was a hero

drawn sand strand anew
the backseat full and sticky
covered with two towels
burning plastic and coconut

dwell in peace, slow motion,
everybody up and running
yet another beach
late ping-pong hours

mom was always cooking
dad was always fixing the car
he didn't let us in with sand covered feet
we did our best to clean

mom was always cooking
she didn't let us burn
and pulled her cotton wrapped finger,
iodated touch, hideous trick

all healed and cured
she always seemed so happy
fixing sandwiches, spreading sun block
she seemed but wasn't

summer was two weeks of ping-pong,
tool handling, cleaning after
dad could fix everything
mom loved him and all of us

mom could fix an itchy throat
yet another beach
and they went for a walk
and we all seemed so happy

we did our best not to bring the sand in
clean after ourselves
we did our very best
all of us

paul betbeder (Washington, DC, 1978)