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South Padre Island

by Esteban Rodriguez

Father’s Day And though we’re at the beach

              he’s not sitting sleeping not bearing the sun

and forgetting how at work each day it sears

              his face adds a layer of darkness he no longer

tries to understand No today minus the trunks

              my father’s dressed like he’s about to mow

the lawn but instead of a trimmer he wields

              like a soldier a metal detector ready to scan

the sand find mines I think until he says either

              to himself or me Treasure not a word

I thought he knew in English but one that fits his mood

              and prompts him to begin his search

to wander the shore stop and dig through the mounds

              of algae and shells pull out pieces of plastic

or something broken or torn: a rope a necklace a fish

              with tatters of meat and scales still on it

but rotted enough for my father to see it for a moment

              as a creature not yet discovered And as he

tosses it moves on and ambles farther off I believe that after

              decades in this country and of only affording

vacations to the beach he deserves to do what he wants

              to find treasure good enough to unearth keep

Esteban Rodríguez is the author of "Dusk & Dust" (Hub City Press 2019), "(Dis)placement" (Skull + Wind Press 2020), and the micro- chapbook "Soledad" (2019). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Shenandoah, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. He is the Interviews Editor at the EcoTheo Review and is a regular reviews contributor at PANK and Heavy Feather Review. He lives with his family and teaches in Austin, Texas.


July 2019

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