Water Protector

My old man had
This thing
About water

He’d put his
Nose near my
Armpit and inhale

Man, you need
To get your hygiene
Together, he’d say

Get some soap
And get your
Ass in the shower

And I’d get in the
Shower and 30 seconds
Or later there’d be a
Bang on the door

Don’t stay in there
All goddamn day,
My father would yell

All day? I’d ask

He explained it

1. wet yourself down
2. turn the water off
3. soap down
4. rinse (but not too long)
5. Get your ass out of the shower
6. Don’t take all goddamn day

It was his way, I suppose
Of protecting the water

And in the years since
I have heard the sound
Of leaking pipes

Escaped tears

Looking for

Looking to
Water the earth
That covers our

And the seeds
Hidden inside

And these days
My father calls me
On the cell phone
And says:

Hey man, you heard
About those brothers
And sisters in North

The man’s trying to
Run a pipeline
Through native land

It’s a cold motherfucking
Shot, from water canons
And rubber bullets

But you got
To protect the
Water, son
He says

His words
Falling like

From a

© 2016 Tony Robles


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