I remember my mother’s shout, “Harry!”
his sharp turn in his swim trunks
to see what she was pointing at.
Lake Erie softly choppy in front of us,
nothing extreme or alarming but a steady pull
out, out, out toward the distant horizon.
My brother was propped against the cooler,
my aunt and uncle drying themselves
with inadequate towels, rubbing their hair
so their faces were obscured, then visible,
then obscured, but the shout snapped their heads to.
My towhead sister, in an inner tube,
a good fifty feet out and sobbing,
drifting farther off shore with each ruffle of current.
Dad chuckled in that way he had, nothing to see here,
move along, when he had caused the accident,
he had let his daughter drift to the edge of safety.
He walked until he had to swim.