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The Tall

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He was tall that summer,
reaching out for tree limbs
and towards the sun, anything
in reach, nothing of value to him
but something, anything that he could
squeeze, press, touch, and toy.
With his hands and his fingers, like
spindles on the harp or the harmonica.

He cleaned the leaves from rain gutters,
swept the cobwebs from the spaces high
above the heads of our cautious constraints.
The gentle shot of his arms and legs, working
against the wood and the brick and the thick
August air. He took it to his feet which swelled
and swore and wore on in spite of the great abuse
they suffered, in spite of the long days and nights
turning trees into chairs and stairs and wooden doors.
He cared.

He had tall words and the sounds of birds
in his hair when we fell to rest kept me up at
night, yelling his name in fevered torture.
The wind in his walk, the tower in his talk.
He kept us up with the large ideas of his fancy
and the spark of his spitting engine, like a mind
on the precipice of something good or, at least,
something solid and stark and surprising. He had
a lot of loose shoes to fill and a lot of milk to be spilled,
wanting nothing more than to do and to choose.

He was tall that summer and I hung from the sweep
of his frame like the limbs he had forgotten to dislocate.
I had a little bit of tallness in me but enough to spark
the heat he held about him like a badge of good starts.
He had tall thoughts, tall spots, and the sound of his
laugh onto mine held me so near in the grace of whatever
due charge he had yet to pay that I feared utter exhaustion.
Yet I held like the tide on his shore and waited for the ebb
of my heart set on his to be free of the time.

He was tall that summer,
reaching for a bit of low-hanging fruit,
hoping to take something in return for
what he had bargained for. A whole lot
of reaching and speaking, he spoke out
for some great meaning to the tallness.

Cause he's not tall anymore and the fall
from his largeness kept me from the tall myself.
I can't wait for another tall summer and the thick heat
of his arms around mine on an August afternoon.

But the small, the broken call has crept up and stole
the sun from view. The trees like winter silhouettes
against his frame in the broken air of so much snow.

I know.



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