With smiles in his eyes,
he handed me
the smallest towel in the bunch
for our day at Wake ‘em Up Bay.
Grandpa and I practiced our snapping the night before….
Kneeling on the end of the dock,
I dipped one corner
into the waters of Vermillion
then pretended to dab at my face
like Grandma did whenever the day was hot.
Kent and Kevin ran by me jeering
Girl are made of greasy grimy gopher guts!
Their momentum carried them out over the bay
creating simultaneous water walls
that spread into droplets as they fell.
Then I dove into Wake ‘em Up,
a fish peering down
at the bottom blowing by.
I surfaced looking up at the sky—
no clouds today.
Grandpa polished a spot on the wagon
with the corner of his towel,
catching my eye.
With a wink he waved me in.
My towel soaked up
every drop of water on my body
then I twirled it on top of my head.
The boys soon tired of swimming
and joined us on the shore
they repeated themselves
with a disgusted glance at my headdress
What are you, the Queen of Sheba?
The boys dried themselves off,
and Grandpa started snapping.
The boys came at me,
like Grandpa said they would.
My right hand grabbed
the dry corner of the towel
from my head.
A whip in my hand
it twisted flinging out
until the end
almost straightened in the air,
then I snapped it back
and cracked it in Kevin’s armpit.
Grandpa engaged Kevin
and my weapon searched for Kent.
They both came at me,
when Grandpa pulled himself up tall
between us and began—
The Queen of Sheba claimed
the heart of King Solomon,
the wisest man in all lands!
His thick hands
drew hills and plains
in the air.
The Queen remains nameless in history,
she is referenced in literature
only through Sheba,
the land that she ruled.
Grandpa turned to me,
He picked up his towel
and twirled it between us
in the air as he bowed.
permit me to be a servant unto you.
I picked up the stick
we planted for this moment
and put it on one of Grandpa’s shoulders.
I knight you . . . Sir Solomon,
the wisest of my knights.
I raised the stick high,
and brought it to rest
on Grandpa’s other shoulder.
He rose, turned toward the boys,
and lifted a fist in the air.
Leave her be, or answer to me,
Sir Solomon, humble servant and
protector of Lila,
the Queen of Wake ‘em Up Bay.