When Skies Are Cloudy and Gray
Daddy washes dishes and sings like Sinatra:
“When skies are cloudy and gray, they’re only gray for a day.
So wrap your troubles in dreams, and dream your troubles away.”
A wet dishtowel like a sleepy baby
drapes the eggplant-purple shoulder of his t-shirt,
his sweat smells ripe as holy water.
I shell peas at the table. I pop
open the crunchy cases,
pressing the tiny pads of my thumbs at their seams,
and out burst shiny green pellets
and ping ping ping drop into the bowl,
silver and cold, I hold between my knees.
Remembering another Sunday morning
my honey-hearted surprise when he leapt (sweet tomcat)
into the parlor pumping with the lush blood
of TV organ music
and whirled a mighty polka
across nutty-colored floorboards,
his brown canvas shoes sprouting fluttery pink angel wings,
his workpants flapping like sheets, the air of the full house stirring
with the dizzying force of his dervish.
And how he bowed when I clapped, calling
sweeping his hammy arm across the width of his waist,
dropping his head almost to my feet.