run while you can

Approaching the fall.

Without actually. Madison, WI. Summer 2011.

The sight of yard slivers, mercurial messages, struck a new chord.
All I knew was land, the ostensible ‘back-forty’ for romping around;
these neighbors could have held hands without leaving their kitchen tables.
I was yet to learn and, in time, unlearn the idiosyncrasies of ownership,
some nine-tenths of the law, depending on the currency you put in culture.
There, a child, gazing at alleyways, curbs, gutters; absorbing ‘city.’

Aging affected the yard in an inverse manner; now my yard, mine, lot lines.
The area shrunk; forty became three, as I sowed the seeds, my adult soul.
Chores grew: mowing, weeding, edging, all: building character, becoming me.
The city slivers seemed easier: fifteen minutes with a push mower, no mulch.
And besides, blooming meant moving. By the time I understood my environment,
my environment was not mine, only dust on my boots, another tangible memory.

Yards mattered less and less. Houses, stacked and packed. People, everywhere.
Open space was public: at times, everyone’s; later, no one’s. I was undecided.
But the stairs always took me to the top floor, no hiccups, just steps upward.
Then the roof, where raining glass reminded me of gravity, the real facts,
my forgotten fear of falling. The views, both vast from the ground and above,
perpetually humbling. One person, one sum. And after perfection, what’s next?


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