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“Summertime”

                                    Derrick Austin


A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning
Porgy and Bess. Granddad sang the old blues tune.
I told him my name. The water was burning

when we went to the coast, green and churning
like collards in the kitchen. It was June.
A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning.

He took worm-colored pills at ten in the morning,
sometimes he wandered off. I’d find him at noon,
streets away, calling my name. Water was burning

from Gulf Breeze to Grand Isle, the Gulf swirling
like vinyl. Egrets blackened the bayou.
A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning

when we watched the news in the nursing
home: men in white scanned the dunes.
I told him my name, that the water was burning.

He looked through my eyes and sang fish are jumpin’ . . .
I said his name, washed his feet, left the room.
A pipe burst somewhere. The record kept turning.
I told him my name. The water was burning.


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