When Taking Grandchildren to the Cove

The children saw a perfect ladder

rather than a twisted tree,

but little did it really matter—

they ran far ahead of me …


the leaning trunk they quickly straddled,

riding low across the grass.

Mounted neat on horse and saddle

off they galloped, fierce and fast.


Then their steed turned pirate ship—

magic I was glad to see—

and up they bear-walked, not a slip,

the ladder to the canopy


of sylvan leaves, and then set sail,

and squinted at the silver sea.

Left below, I kicked the soil

and wondered at the child in me


that still would like a tree to climb,

find pussy willows near a stream,

who thinks a tire swing sublime,

and suffers the broken dream.


I’ve schooled them in the magic of

a fallen leaf, a twisted tree …

now it’s me—the autumn leaf;

me the child they cannot see.




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