Uncle Wheeler’s moonshine & my dad
in the middle of the lake

with fishing poles that they never
meant to use &

a weathered boat that could birth
a leak at any minute.

I couldn’t go because “there’s too
many snakes – water

moccasins – you know how vicious
they can be”

so I stayed at home & played fetch
with Trixie who

should have been sick of chasing
that same damned bone

all over the back yard, up onto
the hill that didn’t

belong to us. But she was a good
girl & knew

I’d rather be in a leaky boat with two
old men pretending

that a snake was going to bite one
of us in the leg

& that we’d have to create makeshift
tourniquets and suck

out the poison, trying to paddle to the shore
without much commotion.