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It’s a funny run you have, a sort of
skipping, trotting – laughing, too
as we play on the lawn
spotted summer sun and shadows
The grass is uneven, the net full of holes,
but we laugh together as we chase after the ball –
short legs racing to keep up
with longer, scarred ones.
Just the two of us
– brothers –
playing on a summer afternoon.
“Let’s take a rest,” you cry
so we sit, in the shade, and talk.
You’re earnest, and also serious
in the childlike way you have of seeming
“I wish I was your age,” you say
wistfully, looking at me, sideways.
You mean it, too – to you, seventeen
means tall and strong and capable
and “ready for the Nabal Academy.”
And I smile, and try to tell you, somehow
about the next twelve years
– about going to school, and playing sports,
and falling in love, and growing up –
that are so easy and fun and crazy
and difficult and full . . .
and how I wish I were four again,
and just beginning, carefree,
full of promise . . .
but you just laugh, so unconsciously
delighted with life
and ask me your questions about the world,
sure that I know the answers.