Friday, March 26, 2010

of the woods.

We couldn't climb that wall,
so lofty its stones. All of us scrambled
a few steps up, jumped
hard—down to the grass,
in clapping and cheers.

I was the highest, that year.
Standing on shoulders, we'd reach
to the top, no one daring
climb or jump from there.

When we saw their branches,
saw those woods,
craning our necks to the flight
of birds with nests on high,

We longed to explore—

shadow paths, sun setting
on dark leaves, wet against your clothes.
Stories we were told
of chases, songs
and the tip-toe beasts
we could catch, if we circled them
(quietly, quick),

till sometimes in our sleep
we'd hear those songs.
Often gathered near the wall
in daylight afternoon,
we'd speak of the quest
to be Climber and Champion.

Wearing time now, stubborn erosion.
Walking on stilts
and long light shadows,
all the walls are gone.

There were boats with wings,
swallowed in the sky's heart,
meeting on roads without markers.
Only the past can trace them
when the future laughs.

Towers and glare, traffic and wear
might have found me,
except for those days.

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