Fish shacks made out of wood scraps
and old rusted zinc sheets, these were
the houses I remembered most.
Their nooks and crannies resonated
under the weight of children at play,
scratching the linoleum floors.
Bats flew into the living room
for a ringside seat of a dubbed
Perry Mason rerun.
I’d cover my hair and scream.
Living was often in black and white,
no worse than mother making us wash
our hands every time we walked
in the house. We had more
handkerchiefs than shoes.
I’d stop by the pharmacy
on my way home from school
to eye the records, Zippos, and Bulovas.
Bought my first Beatles album there,
swapped that Bulova my aunt
gave me on my 13th birthday
for Vetiver. Days were as slow
as a horse showing up
in our living room on a hot,
rainy day. It wouldn’t move,
it just stood there for as long
as it rained, three or four days.
Mother would scream: shoot it.I’d wait until it dropped dead.
© Sergio A. Ortiz. Publisher: Flutter Press, 2009