Photo by Jose Padua
This one kid waves sometimes,
when I’m sitting on the porch
showing my one year-old son
the trees, the street, this slice
of small town sky.

The sidewalk across from
my porch is the only place
I see him, and because
I’m not good
with faces it took me
a long while to recognize him
as the tall, somewhat awkward,
late adolescent wearing loose,
but not quite silly clothes.

He always just waves
or nods or says “Hey”
though once it was
“Whoa, dude, I almost hit my head
on that!” with a laugh
when a low lying branch
on one of two trees in my front
yard nearly punched
him in the face.

And as the season turns cold
my son’s feet are sticking out
too far from the cuffs of his trousers;
my feet are aching
in my too tight shoes.

And all of us are considering,
with words or with
a slow pace of silence
the turning colors of the leaves,
the sky’s darkening
at this earlier hour,
and all the lesser and greater ways
that we fail
to fit in.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


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