FINDING BOY

One summer morning, boy,

in green cowboy hat,

waits at his bedroom window

for the thing that haunts him

 

Outside

butterflies swim sunshine,

trees rattle and sway

as though they have no bones

 

Cottonwood fluff drifts waywardly,

wind moves mournfully through grass;

sky becomes so vague

he fears he will never reach it

 

Boy fingers

his closed pocket knife,

waits all day until the moon,

cold and lifeless as the stone it is

 

brings him to his feet

with an unthinkable thought:

maybe nothing is, nothing,

and never will be;

 

the monstrous shape he imagined

will never come, never

Like grass, he is doomed

forever to stand still

 

Ignoring the sour breath of August

he curls under blankets and pillows,

wraps himself against the frost

of his own fear

 

At daybreak, a man rises

from an antique bed, shucks

a carapace, stretches hairy legs

and stalks a doleful house

 

He peers through blinds

into autumnal lace,

flinches at the cries of crows

rising into ghostly oaks,

 

frowns to regain an image

so distant he can’t conceive

of how he came to this moment

or will come to its other

 

Frantic, he dresses in overcoat,

muffler and cap,

a creature with worn wings

beating against winter

 

in search of a boy in a green

cowboy hat, suspenders,

western boots and red kerchief,

pocket knife aimed at the sky