That morning, Baba was a tsunami hurling page after page
of typed clause and caveat on the table of lost breakfast,
his anguish netting my hunger to swim with the sharks.
I wasn’t his daughter treading in the shallows of passable
grades, I was his lawyer without the study, like a surfer
without a board, without a knowledge of swells and rips.
Baba possessed the power of unreasonable faith in decks
of cards, in money thrown like dice, in men with gold chains
for ties, in his dreams drowning the law and, in me.
Twenty-four pages were dumped on the kitchen table
that morning, each page creating a wave of fear as I read
about a future in an ocean of debt with no life boat.
This wasn’t a shallow dive with a pricey fridge or a leak
from a guzzling car with five days to cool off, this was Baba’s
pride steering our mortgaged house into a developer’s storm.
My stomach was churning Mama’s dread when she saw Bondi
waves for the first time and ran back to shore, that morning
I was left holding Baba’s signature at the edge of the pier.