he says he is the single red on the old sumac
unique among persons of like demographic
in his ability to anticipate change.
his obsession with next and with new
may be likened with grief
may be seen in a compassionate moment
as delicate, even fragile.
the instinctual alertness of rabbits
the hesitancy of shy children
and of the arthritic,
the intuitive,
and the very poor:
one gets the sense one is missing crucial information.
why, one wonders, will he insist
upon the blush, the pull away,
the crisp slide, brush, and crumble?
wading through unspoken cues,
feeling the world, understanding danger as well as loss,
he cannot understand the apprehension of peers.
later, of course, when everyone understands,
he has moved on.
ahead of season, already aching
with the passing of the now,
the body dips in front of our horizons.
the back of the head still bobs along:
lonely landmark, buoy, bump.


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