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Tony Gentry

One Small Step – a poem

Updated: May 17

Daddy said yes to the pool with that girl so I finished the sign Watermelons for Sale $1.00: that green and red slice made a half-moon with bug-like LEM on top.

Oh my in that frilly bikini then her slim legs churning the bubblegum sheen of a ramshackle motel’s lukewarm pool on I guess my first sorta halfway date?

Hair damp and heart thumping back at the store we locked the door for an hour not to watch but to buy eggs sold cheap down a dirt road in the woods. Was the truck’s radio on? Pretty sure I knew it was coming up,

but Daddy didn’t seem to care a whit. It would happen or not was just his way. Something else the war schooled him over that he couldn’t unlearn is what I think.

The eggs rattled between us on the seat while I sniffed the chlorine on my fingers and in my hair and the dust plumed behind I’d like to imagine all the way up

to where those clunky boots we later learned stepped down from a ladder to a sea where even now on full moon nights it all seems jumbled up like something I must have dreamed

thin legs that splatter a pool’s blue water fat cleats imprinting a virgin beach in the eggshell gleam of the moon’s reflection half forgotten, except everything’s changed.

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