"The Day at the Beach" by Jillian Cardosa

You came into my room before the sun did

and said, "Get dressed. We're going to the beach."
I threw on some clothing quickly.
A pair of faded denim shorts. A white T-shirt. 

You had never taken me anywhere by myself before.

You let me pick every song on the drive there.
I shuffled through the radio excitedly, 

then left it on a station I knew you liked.

Classic rock was always your favorite.

I rolled the window down 

and let the smell of the bay come in.
My hair flying as the warm breeze 

danced through it.
You gave me your hat, 

knowing you'd get sunburn without it.


I once read an article that said 

people dress unintentionally similar 

to people they like

as a way to feel closer to them.

And I saw you for the first time that day.
Your faded denim shorts. Your white T-shirt. 

I watched you singing to the song I picked 

for you, and I thought to myself,


I like you too, Dad.