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Family-style

When my sisters worked nights at Yoken's

Sea Food Restaurant, once each summer

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my mother took my brothers and me out to eat.

We leaned from the Rambler's four windows;

everything green rushed in. The wind seemed to suck

color from leaves as they raced along with us, driving

in from the beach. "Thar She Blows" in quotes in neon

blazed in the spout of a whale festooned over the lot.

We were hushed by white linen on tables, the wait staff,

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and art on the walls, the "Moby Dick Contest" in full swing.

My sister's entry hung large in the lobby, a dramatic

harpoon poised over the maitre d'. That summer

my brother climbed to top place in scoring for Rye

Little League, I danced my solo in Tchaikovsky's

"Swan Lake." We stood under a swath of oils on canvas.

Ruddy lobsters clung to platters over our heads.

We were a family, the stars of our own feature film we were the artists, the patrons, the summer help.


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