Summer 2009 - THE POTOMAC

   R. Netzer

In the dirt driveway Dadís Ford
is blue as the wild yonder.
Your Mom is hanging
laundry in the back yard.
She would not blame you, little sneak,
even if she were to hear you
entering the unlocked car.

To be tail gunner in a B-17
you need to climb in back.
You sight a paperback
tucked under the driver's seat.
Go ahead and pull it out. A blonde
stretches back on a bed showing thigh.
The way she's got her elbows propped
raises her upper half. A radio operator,
Dad was. Not on a bomber though.
Cargo planes. The black slip barely nets
the bottom of her breasts.
Her lips look redder than the edge
of the pages against your thumb.

Now that heís no longer a sergeant
Dad is a salesman.
He can palm the wheel one-handed
and pull over to read some afternoon
when who would know?
Mom canít even drive.
Through the breezeway look
at her fingers work
the clothespins in the familiar way.

The lawnmower turns off next door
and how the sheets will billow on the line!
No one needs to hear you slide
your secret to its hiding place.
A code occult as Morse, my boy,
your fingertips will ken.
When you bail out the sky
is clearer than a pretty girl's eyes.
Your chute opens so completely
it is years before you reach the ground.

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