Betty Draper

in the summers
underwater,
i grew little gills
sometimes also,
fins.

my mother
would urge me
onto land for
sandwiches,
she would cock
her head sideways
on a beach, on a
deck.

“are you coming
in?”  I’d yell
through a slur
of wet lips.

“maybe later”
she’d say “come
eat.”

mother never
grew gills like me.

she never lost
herself in
underwater
flips,
weightless.

& if she did
come in,
I would loom,
ominous
my hair clouded
jellyfish-like

she’d say “okay,
I see you. go play.
I don’t want
my hair getting wet.”

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