Not Allowed To

by    /  December 2, 2020  / Comments Off on Not Allowed To

by Brian Richards

Thirty years back were weekends when the grownups sat at the camp stove
Drank coffee sitting on folding chairs and laughing at grownup things
They let us run through the woods and along the streams
To see the world from the inside out

My heart does not open wide enough to describe it there
They passed us chores and taught us knots
We cooked
And in those greenstick days they fostered me

The tallest taught me to coil a rope and toss it to a drowning man
In his small yard after a long day of work
He gave us every Tuesday night and endless Saturdays
And never once wrapped his gifts to us

Today I drove alone through the scent of blue spruce and burning fires
The crack crack crackling spike of summer
Where the world should be seen
From the inside out

There must be nylon tents and boys out there
Knives at the ready for carving walking sticks
Questions in their pockets about leaves or spiders
How to help this friend or that cause

But this is a sideglance world and to the lowering eyes
Of even my friends I have grown tall but dangerous
Childless and dark dark dark darkling of intention
With who knows what lessons to share

So I arm hook my memories into the middle of the table
And grieve their worth and look back
At the days when I was young and needed to learn
And today I swallow the thanks I have for tall and true men.

Brian Richards spends much of his time at a keyboard writing either poetry, short fiction, or Javascript. He lives in downtown Pittsburgh with his wife and their cat, Minna.

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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