Every night for three weeks
my father took off his tie,
hung his suit in the closet,
carried hammer and nails
to the back yard, pounded.
Pounded until dark,
until a fortress appeared
in the osage orange trees
that lined our property.
He then sat on the patio, sipped
a Manhattan, watched my brother
hide in the treehouse, attack
the vegetable garden with a water pistol.
I am certain Dad never imagined
that in four years his middle child
would climb wooden steps
to teach his youngest how to roll
a doobie, or that his first-born
would seduce her best friend’s boyfriend
on weathered, unsanded plywood.
Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Mix Tape (2018), and Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Switchback, I-70 Review, Gargoyle, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize, and second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014). Nina is a founding member of the TransCanal Writers (Five Bridges, A Literary Anthology).