Dad blows cigarette smoke
out the station wagon window.
It swirls back in, mixing
with the stink of seawater, perch,
and flounder. On a back road
home from Bodega Bay,
a morning of fishing off the jetty,
we drive with nothing much to say.
The vinyl seat hot under my thighs,
feet barely touching the floor,
the twisty road making me carsick.
He turns on the radio,
punches a buck-toothed button
for his favorite oldies station.
He fiddles with the knob
but can’t get rid of the static
over Lena Horne. At Freestone
General Store, he buys two bottles
of Sprite. The bubbles scratch my throat,
but the cold sips of lemon-lime
give us something to talk about.