Before he can take off his boots
his wife says, “Come here, quick.”
She is smiling, giddy,
points out the window
over the kitchen sink,
The neighbors have water balloons.
She loves balloons,
especially yellow ones that float.
In this case the colors cover the spectrum –
blue, red, yellow, pink, white -
every one heavy.
She directs his attention to Dwayne,
the dad and, as far as dads go, he’s young.
He is the big one creeping-up
from under the trampoline.
In his sights is the unsuspecting Lila –
his four-year old daughter.
Her little pink swimsuit is still dry.
Lila stiffens, screams, runs away,
stops to look back.
She's never smiled so wide.
She is being pursued.
“I love it,” says the wife at the window.
Feet aching, he says,
“It’s all fun and games until
someone gets hit in the face.
Someone else breaks out
one of those big ol’ water guns.
Before you know it, there’s a garden hose
involved. It escalates.
Things get said.”
She goes back to the dishes.
He takes off those boots.
Poetry Quarterly - Fall 2011