You were the feisty mom, so quick to fill up
my stainless commuter mug with fridge-cold beer
hot summer days when we took long walks with all the
neighborhood kids. You confessed your affairs to me, lifted
your shirt up to show me your fresh ink hours before your husband
came home. Gave me first dibs on the bath when we all got back
from a day at the lake with our shoes filled with sand
after piling everyone into the station wagon heading out
seeking relief from the sun, sending the kids out ahead of us
to wade knee-deep in a silvery sea of alewives so we could
hang back sharing secrets and comparing our chests while
trying to get them evenly tanned, your two
little girls losing their tops playing pirate,
our collective brood swashbuckling,
slathered in Sunblock 69 and all decked out
in their drugstore inner tubes and arm floats,
wearing wigs of sand and seaweed while imagining
eye patches and peg legs, swigging sea slop rum.
Do you think they will remember these things?
It was our job to keep them safe somehow,
so damn you for leaving me
alone with the burden of remembrance
by choosing me to be your unwilling confidant.