He sat and that was that


Grandfather caroused
in British fighter planes,
over the Bay of Bengal,
over-exchanged leaded
pleasantries with Zeroes,
but had he been shot down,
he would have drowned.

I spent my youth watered
down like a fool, and him
always on edge at ocean
lake, creek or pool. He
drank his scotch neat,
no rocks, no sand between
toes, shoes on, in control.

I would have liked to see
his florescent white
stomach, and willowed arms,
his hair get all messy,
his trunks drip, but he
never wore trunks or
shorts, only pants: slacks.

If he had asked me,
I would have taught him.
I would have liked to see
his bad, face-forward breaths,
those precious, panicked bubbles,
eyelids locked down tight.
His was a worldly eyesight.

He never went under, not
even in the bathtub, never
let water cover his face
in the shower, leaned back,
facing away, letting it go
down his back. I should
have pushed like a parent.

He was too strong, old, cool
like an artifact. I couldn’t
trifle with his value, he earned
a life set up easy, comfortable.
I still swim. He sits in an urn,
went vertical only to love, sleep,
dream, slept little between Zeroes

haunting in their hunt, diving for him,
with calm Kamikaze fearlessness,
their ear-drum shattering screams.

About the Author

Brian Timmerman has a BA in English from UC Davis. He lives in West Hills, Ca, with his wife and two daughters. His poems have appeared in print in Salamander, Welter, Blue Earth Review, Northridge Review, and others and are online at cathexisnorthwestpress.com.

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