Filling up
the red handheld
gas tank on Atlantic Avenue
Mom plays Soak Up the Sun
while the creases of knees
slide in sweat on leather
back seats of
the grey
Dad has a yellow boat.
He sits in the back
on a spackle bucket
with remnants
of house paint, plaster
driving the gas motor.
The steering wheel is gone, now
a gaping hole, a piece of
plywood propped on
the bottom for
umbrellas and
beach chairs.
And today
a tree has sprouted 
from the gaping hole—
we respect
it’s resilience.
Don’t make wake
go slow, Dad unravels the rope.
Guppies push up bellowing brown
surfaces like plastic wrap slipping
around sandwich rolls.
Slowly gliding
on the hum of the motor, waves
undulate from diagonals
making trapezoids
that hit slow一
docks, boats, and ladders dipping,
dipping below where crabs claw underneath pinching
brown plastic wrap.
Sisters are not ready
when the dogs bark
from backyards, but
when we are, we bark back.
Passing Dad’s house,
his parents still live there.
A tenant lives in Dad’s room,
he owns an African grey parrot.
Hot bird, on the dock
no shade? Asking for a cracker, alone
he watches us come and go.
All the houses 
are the same
run down 
nails popping out
the tops of splintery docks,
peeling paint on sides of sheds,
brown grass edging
up to canal posts
and ladder steps,
above ground pools
lined with blue crystally vinyl,
rainbow weaved aluminum beach chairs,
once red now bleached peach boogie boards, 
flat tires on bicycles with rusty chains, doggie chewed 
blue frisbees, plastic green water hoses, 
metal chain fences, hot tubs, rainbow umbrellas, 
cracked garden gnomes, dangly stained glass souvenirs 
hanging above kitchen sink windows
from Florida,
wind chimes, kites,
bleached white plastic chairs around
bleached white plastic dining tables,
and dandelions dotting yellow across backyards.