22 Feb


for Richard (“Buz” (“Pop”)) Russell

Flapping wings to call you home

a red barn and dirty boots

your mother’s writing poetry

and we drive around in circles

you were embarrassed to be lost

and you wanted us to be together

on an orange-leaf afternoon

you’ll crack a smile and know everything

and I’ll learn.

There’s a rumor about boyhood,

although ours felt centuries apart:

boys don’t cry,

don’t hurt,

and don’t feel.

But that’s just a rumor about boyhood—

that’s just horse feed and crab apples.

Let’s ride our horses through the dark,

patting the hot metal on backs of trucks

ready to haul lumber to glittering casinos.

Let’s live one more rumor about boyhood

before they find us hiding in the woods

with flashlights near tents

before they find us to tell me you’re gone.

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