The Scotch Trilogy, Part III: In the Delta, Too

“The little shrimp
Is eating ice cream,”
She says, while playing
With our Brittany Spaniel.

“He’s been eating rocks –
I’ve been watching him,”
She says,
Prying his mouth open
To see if she can spot any.

“OK, now I can pet you,”
She says, forgivingly,
As he puts his forepaws on her lap
And sniffs for the remnants of fudge vanilla crunch.

“He’s so cute and handsome –
Look at him,
Look at him –
You’re not looking.”

She hands me the cup of ice cream and says,
“Try it –
I’ll bet you five bucks you like it.”
I turn it down and
She runs off,
Looking for her mother.

It’s not often I get to write
About my eight-year-old
While drinking a third scotch
And watching my dog sprint around the yard
On a sensational September night.

Summer appears to have ended
Early this season
And the monsoon is behind us,
According to our neighbor’s forecast.

It’s funny how water seems
To be,
So essential to everything –
Everything we live for –
Everything we die for.

Water, I say,
Not oil, is king,
Water rules the earth.


A king, queen and princess
Are given the keys to the universe,
Only they don’t know it,
They’re not sure what they’re here for.

“I don’t want to fight anymore,”
Announces the strident king
Plodding his way through the desert.

“I don’t want to fight anymore,”
Agrees the tired queen
Remembering those bitter days on the prairie.

“I don’t want to fight anymore,”
The family of three barks in unison
With a backbone rhythm section
So tight, you’d swear it was born
In the Mississippi delta.

In the delta,
They say there was a reason,
A reason to fall,
A reason to stand.

In the delta, too,
There lived a princess,
A princess of the night,
A princess with a voice
Like avocado ice cream.

Above and beyond all,
Had reason.
A reason to drown,
A reason to swim.

~ FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ (September 2005, post-Hurricane Katrina)

Photo credit: Ted Jackson,, Woman swimming down St. Claude

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