As I was guided by the director through the thick space Of these rooms, worn sparrow brown, and strode With the August sun on my shoulders across this particular Acre of grass, nobody had told me this was the place Where you had summered as a boy. I have weathered My fourth decade, older now than you were When you died. I can barely remember you, yet I can see You not as my father but as my son. You are age nine. The downpour divides into two massive stage curtains Parting. You bolt from the bunk, loudly racing With your chums down the slippery hill to the dock, Your cape of a towel flapping as if ready to lift you airborne. You are the smallest. Still, you always run in the front. You do not know how beautiful you are, of course, squinting Against the sun, the flame that escapes behind the gray Vapor for hours, sometimes for days. You cannot see That from the beginning it has been eyeing you from afar, That it has focused its golden spotlight just for you.
Copyright © 2000 Michele Wolf. This poem originally appeared in Poetry, February 2000, and also appeared in Immersion (The Word Works) by Michele Wolf. Used with permission of the author.