Dad got drunk in the afternoons.
He slouched in his short shorts and torn
Ocean Pacific tee-shirt for hours after work
watering the magnolia sapling by the driveway.
His sneakers pressed yellow dimples
into the St. Augustine sod
as he watched the teenage girl across the street
bronze in her strapless two piece.
His gaze was epic. In the skies around him
smoke from backyard grills
bent into tangy question marks.
You could almost hear the magnolia’s screams
gurgle from its bark,
its tiny gasps for air
as the drooping hose spilled pools into its bed.
Once the tree drowned, a stick still jutted
from the mud.
He watered that too.