Beer Bottles

This poem originally appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of Interstice.

Beer Bottles

My grandfather
Manny Garza
Had three loves:
Golf, beer, and
Green-eyed girls
(Hence his marriage
To my grandmother
And their later divorce).
But of these three,
The greatest was beer.

When I was barely a toddler
He’d drive up to Corpus
To visit and fish.
He and Dad would pack me up
Along with the cooler and gear,
And we’d drive to the beach.
They’d fish while I fiddled with sand,
Watching a wall of glass bottles
Slowly erect itself along the shore.

When the fish weren’t biting,
It amused Manny to no end
To pour beer into a baby bottle
And give it to me. The first time,
I scrunched my face up
At the taste, but sipped again.
His laughter was louder
Than the surf, startling.

This happened every time he visited.
I never cried, though.
Instead, as he mocked me one day,
I discovered a clever trick:
Shaking the bottle with all my might
Till the fizzy froth pushed
Against my stubby little hands,
I pressed my finger against the nipple
And sent a stream arcing through the air
That got him in the eye,
Ending my precocious binge.

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