February 15, 2009

according to the geneva convention

by Scot Young

when I was seven I
would go with you
and uncle ben to the lake
we would sit in barker's
the bar sawdust floor
up the steep hill
next to the stone gas station
you guys would cuss and drink foam
out of frosty mugs
I would spin around on the stool
until you fed me quarters
to play endless games of shuffle board
and the bowling game
with collapsible plastic pens

sometimes I would chase
the minnows around
the tank out front
while waiting
once I remember you let
me drive the speed boat
with the faded red cadillac fins
to another bar on the lake
about two beers away
I remember a wild goat
curved horns
standing on a narrow ledge
above the main channel
watching us bounce through the waves
like a runaway torpedo
water splashing against my face
(isn't it funny what we remember?)
you would have me play
patsy cline I miss you darling B-19
on the jukebox
to get me out of earshot
while you guys patted
the waitress on her backside

it was when you guys slept late
I fished for perch off the dock
it was a game
when they started to nibble
I would pull the bait up
so they wouldn't be caught
and you guys wouldn't
have to cut off their heads
I would come up the long stairs
empty stringer about the time
you guys got up
nope
not biting today
I'd say

at home
mom would ask me
what we did
I told her we had a blast
I only gave her my
name
rank
and serial number

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great reflection on what we choose to remember, sounds like you had a great time though.

Julie said...

Beautiful poem. I love the "secret" life the boy becomes a part of. Excellent.

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