In the Evenings

February 17, 2009 at 10:39 am (Kelowna Poems, Poems)

In the evenings, the grown ups play cards. We kids sit and munch potato chips,
try to understand the game until we are dizzy from the cloud of cigarette smoke
hanging over our heads. Talk stitches back and forth: people we know, old relatives
in Quebec and St. Boniface, legends told and re-told as they take turns dealing the cards
around the table. We resist sleep as long as they can, but when our eyes burn
and we can no longer breathe, we go downstairs into the lure of cool air.
My cousin takes his yellow plastic car track out of the toy cupboard and we watch
the cars and trucks circle around. Sometimes we stand in the driveway and spin ourselves
until we’re dizzy, then look up at the stars.
At the end of a game, my Dad steps outside and says, “I bet the water in the pool
is warmer than the air.” My aunt always says yes and we rush to change into our bathing suits.
My Dad holds the ladder as we climb in. He is there on a patio lawnchair, watching us
run as fast as we can in a large circle along the sides over and over and again
feet tucked under in canonball position.

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