In brown-skinned summers,
You and I, sun-stung
From looking for tomato bugs
Would run to the rickety ice-house
Where Grandpa would teach us
The secret of watermelons.
Dappled-skinned melons were best.
Grandpa would squint, study, pluck
Only the choicest of suspects,
Rap his gnarled knuckles hard--
Knocking for secrets, seeking the sweet.
Crouch-down anxious, we'd wait
As Grandpa clicked his pocketknife,
Cutting hard circle
Into innocent flesh.
His foolproof method only failed twice,
Yielding dry melons
He fails to remember.
Sunset. Drugged with heat and dust,
We bit into crimson--
Let it bleed down our arms, bugs be damned,
Spit seeds into the evening
Shooting at the gray goose that hissed,
Extra points if we plundered backside.
I loved you then.
Sometimes, over your second
Gin and tonic of the evening,
You will throw your head back, laughing
Pearly picket-fence teeth bared,
And for an instant, I see the girl
Of our watermelon summers