a poem a day for a year #19

by Amy Turn Sharp


my auntie Lee who lived in Florida


with the real name of Leoda


would marinade her steak
in some odd concoction of 7-up and spices

in a green tupperware bowl 

that I would open and sniff and sniff

and we would grill the dark meat in that tiny yard of the trailer park in Jacksonville, Florida


near the rough beach 


we would drive piled in her rust jalopy 


with brown limbs of children everywhere


heads out windows like dogs eating air


and I didn't know that the dirty public beach wasn't paradise


and I didn't know anything about broken families


and my body was strong against the tide


and I was 14 years old and cruel against the world


and it was the last summer I would ever see her


before she wasn't a part of the family anymore

just like that

like the rinsing of the sand off red skin at silver showers in the sun