This. I remember walking, unsteady on chubby toddler legs,
while dog barks, shrill and desperate, at cliffs he couldn’t climb.
We drew up there, on that jaggedly comforting edge.
Names and faces smudged in red and yellow stone.
Wandering among the pine trees, I saw the dappled fronds
grow sleepy with cold, and the lichen crept into the cracks.
Sledding, giddily, down sharp and slick dips, with Jackson,
I was unknowingly brash with danger. How innocent the daggers
look when sheathed in snow. The blackberries and raspberries and blueberries
grow wild there, almost as eager to be eaten as we are to eat them.
The path is now leafy with age, and the stones no longer so trodden upon.
This, the cold shoulder where I, drunk with childhood, ran.
This, the lonely miracle tree, growing out of stone.