Oct 05 ● BY Tennessee Hill
Mrs. Lucia Rainbow grows the neighborhood’s best begonias for sport.
Bucket at her feet, spritzer bottle in hand. Crickets float
across the bucket crest on a cupped leaf, one upright, the other stooped,
paddling its violin legs, screaming, Bail the water from the boat.
Bail my brother out of jail. It’s been three nights. The veiny green vessel
takes on water. They row themselves to the plastic lip, look
in my window, try that trick of his: you’ve got a quarter behind your ear
but I never had the money to begin with so I don’t know why
he uses that phone call on me. He slouches, too familiar, in a South Texas cell
where our father knows the sheriff, has heartbroken my brother home
for a very last time. He flickers card tricks to make friends. He taught
our mother’s garden crickets to sing Moon River
and that is the only buzz-lull I hear as I peer at two, mid-drown, peering back.
Pink begonia noon warms my face. We should, by now, be grown.