"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.