Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bud

photo courtesy of books, paper, scissors 

When we were younger, my brother Kyle and I would climb the trees in our neighbors' yards. Always right behind me and my backpack filled with adventure "essentials," Kyle was my partner and #1 follower. This photo reminded me of him and I, and of the poem I wrote about one of our tree-climbing adventures from a poetry class in college. Happy birthday, Kyle. I love you.


They’re cutting down the tree today,
the one I climbed to the very top.
You followed me but lost your footing,
I watched as you hit




like a wet rag. How memories’ coils smolder:

You. Face down. Petrous, dry earth. Surrendered

in a bowl of dust

I ran home, red alarm rising

rendered you dead to mom. When

we went back you were pale and shaking

but alive.

“Miracle,” said mom

and my mouth swallowed the word

and never forgot the taste of relief:

hot coals

stoked in the throat, cooled by splashes 
of wet truth.

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