Five Scenes from Six and Renaldo

Linda Phillimore

waiting all morning it seems then we hear him before we see him that old austin- healey backfiring as it flies around doc simon’s corner almost on two wheels before rolling to a stop and there’s renaldo unfolding himself from behind the wheel tequila bottle in one hand daffodils in the other crowing julia querida

jonah and me giggling on the back stoop peering through the screen door too late mama calls us in and he’s swooping down on us before we know it whooping giving jonah a mock one-two but it’s me renaldo’s grabbing up under the arms twirling me like a dervish i shut my eyes and breathe in bay rum and something like danger

renaldo rumbas mama across the room right out the french doors mama’s protests don’t do one bit of good and daddy keeping time with two flamingo stir sticks just to be part of it all a smile stretched tight across his face like a band-aid besame mucho renaldo croons as around the patio they go till mama’s high heeled mule catches the flagstone and there they are tumbling laughing into the hammock and daddy laughing too

suppertime and renaldo’s helping himself to seconds and filling empty wine glasses all the while talking about mazatlan and plans for a marina another deal that went sour some s.o.b. who bailed on him only renaldo talking daddy nodding every now and then mama trying to catch his eye and it seems the talk’s run out until daddy says it’s a damn shame about juanita

renaldo says he really should be driving down to escondido tonight mama just smiles and doesn’t say the spare room’s been made up for days and daddy doesn’t say we make our own beds and lie in them and the same light that spins such afternoons luminous can wane faster than two taillights disappearing around a corner




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