Daddy was a genius. On sticky summer days
like a mad scientist, he’d pull from the fridge
a can of 7Up and the Sunny Delight.
No taller than the kitchen counter, I’d watch
him crack the can, the pressure releasing snap-hiss
eliciting a Pavlovian response—up on tippy toes I went.
First, the tip of soda into the glass—but only half,
and then the bright syrupy cascade of Sunny Delight—
a tide of sweet rising to the rim.
A spoon from the creaky drawer to mix
the concoction, a kaleidoscope of bubbles. Daddy
always made me a glass even though I could never finish
it—the nectar too thick and sweet, the carbonation
carving a gully in my throat. But it didn’t matter, I wanted
to be like him chugging it down as he wiped the summer
sheen off his brow, wiped his mouth on the sleeve of the
tattered white t-shirt he wore outside while cutting grass.
This was summer, my nose in a glass that burped and hissed
with sugary elixir—this was daddy making magic.