He’s still afraid of his own shadow.
On sunny days, his mother, already old,
But not gray yet, squeezes his pale hand harder,
As he tries to pull away from her,
towards the silhouette on the ground.
Only he knows why.
Her arm extends all the way out,
Then loosens, like a leash,
jerking him back.
He sits on their rickety porch,
Wearing his favorite shirt:
A sleeveless yellow thing
With Property of B.U.M. Equipment
Embroidered in gothic lettering.
He loves watching the sparrows.
They land at his feet,
Which are buried in fuzzy, dirty-white slippers.
The birds surround him,
like faithful attendants,
And chirp in this freezing
I walk by their house every day,
Some time after five,
On the way to my own.
He never returns my “hi;”
I still say it.
But last night,
As I sprinted towards my door,
In anticipation of a hot bath,
I heard him blazing Amazing Grace, --
His voice, like a knife in the stale bread
Of my heart.
I almost thought I could hear the sparrows
Backing him up.