Saturday, December 17, 2011

Designed to fail

And so I befriended a little boy
and he trusted me and I him.
We’d tell each other stories
from our day;
mostly true,
some pretend.
He told me of the backyard,
the dirt world,
the little berms of daisies
and snail swirled ponds.
And I gave him my wisdom
of the grown-ups:
how we think that they’ll
never lie or let us down,
but inevitably they do;
they’re designed to.
And in that moment
of disappointment,
we bow to them,
and acknowledge
their broken muddiness,
as also our own.

Later, I heard that his family
was moving away.
I didn’t know where.
I stood on their vacant lawn,
trying to remember my number
to leave for him on a receipt,
a cookie fortune in my pocket,
a cracked toy tractor plastic piece.
It began to snow and I still could not
write the number where I could be
reached in case of emergency.
Even if I did remember,
wouldn’t it get left behind,
somehow, only to become
a scooting gutter canoe
in the thaw.

 Oh how, oh how
I didn’t want to let go
the sticky frog summer
of his smile
when he saw me.
 Oh how, oh now
to know
a phone line would never come
close enough
to save me.

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