At the beach where the Atlantic
kisses our feet, my daughter
asks me what the ocean will
bring to the shore, like it has
secrets it has held on to. I say
under my breath, probably slaves
and I know this is me at my
most cynical, a trait my child
shouldn’t need to be helped with.
I bury my tongue behind my teeth
like so many shells before
me and remember what lessons
I give without ever offering.
On the ride home, after I have
tamed the bark, an officer
pulls us off to the side of the road
and asks me whose car I am driving
my family home in.
William Evans is a writer from Columbus, OH, a Callaloo Fellow and the founder of the Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam (September 2008).