i still expect you there.
you; my bravery.
sixteen and shivering.
yelling at elms in unwritten terms.
is that you there,
you; my bravery, at meadow's mouth
jogging there with rain slicker brisk;
man there with suit, umbrella, lips like birds beaks?
splashing warm there.
i yell for you; my bravery.
almost forty and counting
things i no longer remember accurately.
1977. for phlyp.
lunch box metal
was when the bologna had to have mustard
and glass lined the inside of the thermos to keep things warm;
the trading days of cardboard made baseball cards
and you were running with bruises on your shins
from climbing up the metal ladder of the metal slide too fast
and tackling boys who made fun of my underwear showing
when i hung upside down on the heavy metal arch of the monkey bars.
i imagine those daffodils were planted long ago for your absence
pushed up through earth when the soil warms
when the birds run among the new grasses
the next of kin long gone, moved away, passed on
as your headstone crumbles due to seasonal weather.
i'll remember- each time I ride the steel cars with scratched panes
breaking a different kind of ground, planting bulbs of a different kind of flower- in your honor.