“But her husband, I’ve no use for him at all,” Mother stated
When I was eleven and instantly I wanted to step
To the side of that imagined clown with his horrid cigar,
Hopelessly splayed feet in thick brown shoes,
Round greasy nose and old off-color jokes
Which, had I understood them, I too would have disliked.
The bozo was being attacked
And I instantly wanted to go fishing with him:
To sit in his rowboat, ducking the tip of my bamboo pole
To dislodge dragonflies,
Watching water-lilies’ jade-green leaf-plates
Part or be pushed under by our prow as we passed through.
I wanted to watch at dusk small fish break out
To twist and flop before they re-entered their world. And at night
With only stars and the moon to relieve all blackness, go
A boy of little experience, to his cabin whatever that held.