Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mermen (2 of 4)

Another Sighting, This Time by a Niece

Diving out of the sun, the waiting room was dark
like underwater pictures in my storybooks.
Tom disappeared to the back after making sure
I had a magazine. Men followed him. I heard
ocean murmurings, at times, a dolphin squeak.
They spoke of finding themselves, as if lost, or wrecked.
Tom’s rough voice sketched how he was stranded among men,
in bars last week, wishing his brother were with him.
He reads me bedtime stories every Sunday night
though I’m too old for that. I like real stories better,
how he and Dad fought over girls, how much he loves
and misses Dad. Tom hugs me as if his arms are short.
In his webbed hands, last Sunday night, before he left,
I hung round his neck, feathers unfurled in my chest.

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