June, 1984, in my mid-twenties,
I set sale with my family under a cloudless sky
from a marina at Redondo Beach, California.
The rented boat glides through smooth port waters.
Like the passengers on Gilligan’s Island,
we anticipate a pleasant three-hour cruise.
Once we hit the waves, my stomach revolts.
Moments later, holding the leaking sack
containing what was once my lunch, Uncle Tony asks,
“Will the EPA mind if I throw this overboard?”
“No problem,” says the skipper.
He hands me a bucket,
places a hand on my shoulder
while I let it all out.
A helicopter whirrs overhead.
“They’re making a movie,” Uncle Jon speculates.
Oh boy, I always wanted to be in a movie,
Barfing on the High Seas.
Later, the skipper reminisces about man overboard drills.
Still nauseated, I glance at the water, the shore.
If I jumped in, tried to swim,
would I make it?
After three of the worst hours of my life,
I stumble onto the dock,
exhausted, sunburned—it could be worse.
The above poem appears in the August 29th issue of The Weekly Avocet, a nature poetry journal to which I contribute regularly. To hear me read it, click below.
For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.
New! The Red Dress
Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books
When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.
Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.