Poem 12: An Oasis

An Oasis


Cool Water played on our living room stereo like a distant

desert breeze while we roughhoused and did acrobatics

with Dad. He lifted us up into the air one at a time, our bellies

pressed into his feet while he lay on the carpet on his back.

We held our arms and legs out stiff as we flew. I wondered

how it would feel to go a whole day without the taste of water,

cool water. My brother and I take turns soaring my dad’s legs

above that dry barren land. I know the album by heart.

It’s one of only four or five we had, and it warned us

there’s a devil not a man who wants to hurt us and a desert

where men in white shirts and khakis crawl in their own sweat

toward the minty promise of water. My father lifts me

out of harm’s way, the cells in our mouths bulky with moisture.

I am seven and am learning how to pencil my wants

in a diary. I didn’t know one day I’d have to learn

how to let go of this man who taught me how to fly.

One thought on “Poem 12: An Oasis

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your father. I recognize the song, Cool Water. You have such beautiful memories. I’m glad they are strong for you. For a moment other children reading this could imagine they were you and have that vicarious pleasure of flying through the air safe and loved.

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