It’s that sharp divide, entering in the bright
lap of day, exiting in the dark, stars
jagged, the wind with its cold surprises.
It reminds me of something I want to forget.
The night my father pulled me close, his arm
around my shoulder – a rarity – maybe
a first. Ninth grade and I couldn’t wait
for school the next day. I planned to wear
the pink jumper I’d made in home ec.
I saw the warning on my mother’s face
as she watched me soak him in.
I wanted her to be wrong, wanted to believe
that his sudden embrace was as true
as those wild flowers that bloomed overnight
in the field across the street.
Now a lopsided smile at my upturned face,
a wink, a squeeze, “Tell me, sweetheart,”
he said, ”where’d your mother hide my bottle?”