the gulf’s water

smells unlike other seas

i should know, i have sailed most of them

jellyfish in the gulf have tendrils

long enough to sting you from far away

pack wet sand on the wounds my father said

this was just before my father went into his box

into his private world

we were never allowed to see

i was six years old

he took me bar hopping

i sat on the bar clutching a sugar drink

while he and his bar pals laughed

and told jokes i did not understand

later we roared by our country house

me standing on the old Ford’s seat

waving at my mother through the open window

that was the beginning of the end



midnight moves

working the program

none of that helped


it was a small tragedy as tragedies go

i learned

survived and prospered

and that is good enough

11/20/18 LV
Copyright Michael Douglas Scott