The air is something

out of a brisk lemonade

with a sky as blue as I remember

from childhood days.


The planes fly overhead

and I am seven years old again

playing at grandma’s house

in the front yard.


Family is arriving

and am infatuated with my cousins

They seem so big

and so much older than me,


What are we doing today?

I ask,

always subtly hoping

for Disneyland

and always knowing

it isn’t happening.


When my enthusiasm

is too annoying

I am dismissed

I hunt

for my uncles.


Just to pay attention

and see

what they might say next

I am a munchkin,


on every word said.


Then dad wants me

to come play dominos

it is the only attention

I ever get

that is not yelling

or demeaning.


The game

is not about me,

it’s About dad

He wants to show me off


I’m as good as the adults

and I can beat most of them.


When dad and I play


and Backgammon

he drinks.


Cutty Sark


I can’t beat him

when he drinks.

When he’s sober

I wipe the floor with him.


It’s a psychological thing

I knew it

when I was twelve.


When he yells

I just wait

for him

to put hands on me.

Then after that…

nothing matters.


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