Water Towers, Too


Water Towers, Too

A poem by Adrian Patenaude


i knew i’d miss mangos
pale yellow, smooth, size 
of two fists combined
peeled, sliced
and juicy sweet

i was right
but surprised
by warm peaches
firm and sun-yellow
picked fresh,
washed clean
in summer camp sinks
juicy sweet
and running down my chin

i knew i’d miss lilawadee
fragrant, perfect white
even when scattered
below branches
of waxy leaves

i was right
but i met magnolia
fragrant, perfect white
big blossoms
to get lost in
and breathe myself dizzy

i don’t remember, but mom does
a little girl crying
water tower!
water tower!

each time we passed one

that girl is a stranger, lost
in time to some parallel stream
the magic of water towers
is now lost on me
but West Texas sunsets
enchant, even that silhouette

i was right to miss Thailand -
rhinoceros beetles, rambutan,
raindrops clamoring on tin roofs -
and i still do
but i have been touched
by Texas, too