The family pontoon attempts
to usurp dominant contrast
though your twin brother sticks out
his chest like a gangster—
your father’s fedora
slopes too close to his nose.
Straight as the safety railing,
your older brother locks hands
on hips. He manages
a squint for the camera.

The boat blushes mimosa pink
to be upstaged by such a young girl
on a summer day meant for boating—
not the boasting of calves, thighs, shins,
white as cottonwood blossoms,
long as drooping pines spilling out
of timber trucks.

O those legs kill the middle,
crown themselves the dominant
and hold up the body
that’s grown into the body I love—
the same quizzical eyes
which quicken me
when the camera shutter

— Dave Malone, author of O: Love Poems From the Ozarks

This poem is offered as part of our July theme: Ship, Sail, Boat

T. S. Poetry