Cricket Noon

Mrs. Lucia Rainbow grows the neighborhood’s best begonias for sport.

Bucket at her feet,       spritzer bottle in hand.             Crickets float

across the bucket crest on a cupped leaf, one upright, the other stooped,

paddling its violin legs,          screaming,                   Bail the water from the boat.

Bail my brother out of jail. It’s been three nights. The veiny green vessel

takes on water.            They row themselves             to the plastic lip, look

in my window, try that trick of his: you’ve got a quarter behind your ear

but I never had            the money to begin with                         so I don’t know why

he uses that phone call on me. He slouches, too familiar, in a South Texas cell

where our father          knows the sheriff, has heartbroken                 my brother home

for a very last time. He flickers card tricks to make friends. He taught

our mother’s                           garden crickets                         to sing Moon River

and that is the only buzz-lull I hear as I peer at two, mid-drown, peering back.

Pink begonia noon                  warms my face. We should,                        by now, be grown.