The little boy in the kiddie car
is gleeful, abandoned to all
but moment. The sun is shining
in that photograph and later
on a concentration of fingers
knit to a Louisville Slugger.
Sometimes they lay languid
on the edge of an inner tube
adrift on the Russian River.
He has grandfather's arms,
grandfather's smile married
to resolve, innocent his tongue
pressed on a corner of lip.
He is unprepared for the crash
that will end childyears and later
a fall from the roof of belief,
Icarus stilled. It would seem
only the trace of tears remain,
empty bottles, hope swallowed
like broken glass.
Who is this motherless boy huddled
in a tangled cage, whose treasure
now reduced to a fractional shadow
curled in the corner of expectation?
He asks why I love him
when he says it's like finding
a diamond in a mudpuddle.
He thinks we're talking about me.