Sep 03
lodestoa's picture

My Father’s Seagull Promises

The road was an ocean
The potholes,
whirlpools of swirling opportunity.
The cars weren’t moving fast.
They hovered across the road 
like tired-eyed seagulls.
They flew slowly
and slugg-
over the black sea of asphalt.
That didn’t stop your threats.
Your words smelled like tourist lemonade,
Full to the brim 
with false vows
only to disappoint.
(It was an alter marriage after all.)
Your speech traveled through the air
like blue lightning.
Each word CrAcKleD.
The charge struck momma’s
cherry ice cream cheeks
as she pleaded-
I was blanketed in thunder
in a room of glass.
From the back porch,
I could see everything.
My leg tapped the sand-colored rug,
bobbing up and down
like a buoy
on ominous water.
If your rage were a fish
momma would be a net.
Catching everything,
trying to keep it contained.
I held the phone tightly in my hands
as if it were my life jacket.
Promises of protectors 
in armor of blue
from a faraway land.
Only years later did I have the courage to summon them.
He wants to leap momma.
If he drowned he would blame it on you momma.
How can you not see it, momma?
You can't keep us all afloat!
He is a storm momma,
Cracking dishes.
Cracked ideals.
Cracking your jaw, momma
Bags of peas as ice packs.
Lie to the hospital.
Lie to the school.
Fell down the stairs.
Scratched by the dog!
But this is now.
And you papa,
despite your threats,
never jumped
in an asphalt ocean
of seagulls.