Some mornings Poppa would skinny dip
With his bar of Ivory before he went to work
I used to peek through my bedroom curtains to see
then Iʼd get shy and feel guilty for spying
on my very own grandfather at seven in the morning.
Iʼd chase lightning bugs by myself
At night and Iʼd catch them
I put a bunch of them in a jar one night
And woke up with every one of them cold dead the next day
And I felt real guilty for that
So then I just caught them and peeked through the crack
Between my pointy ﬁnger and my thumb at their glow
Then I let them go
Those weeping willows were cut down three years ago
And Nana and Poppa are going to buy a condo in town
Even though town is creeping its way
Right towards them and the country.
Nana sold her Dodge and bought a Honda
And Poppa doesnʼt drive now
And I havenʼt seen the place since Christmas before last
And Iʼm out here in California
Where no oneʼs ever heard of a whippoorwill
And certainly nobody knows the joy of lying down
In a wet bathing suit on hot concrete
On your belly
Then pushing up with both hands
And having that bristly feeling of the concrete
Picking at your one-piece.
And the water steaming right back up to the North Carolina sky.