“Afternoon, 1988”

Published in Allegro Poetry Magazine, Issue #5, themed “Childhood.

For Jeff

I’ve been meaning to tell you:
That day the crayfish darted backward to their silty secrets—
when I caught one with pincers too small to nip my small palms,
when the creek-smell caught in my throat and stuck,
toes squeezing slippery bed-sand,
minnow schools disturbed, winking soft bodies in sunlight,
when I ran across Route 20 and the blue sedan swerved—
I saw your face from the safe side of the road,
but I couldn’t see your chest expand then deflate;
I didn’t understand my weight,
the harsh sounds your voice made, for me.

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