Sunday, July 16, 2017

Grandchildren in Trees

by Al Ortolani

I try to spot for the youngest climber
as I stand below the thickest fork
where I think if he’s going to fall
he will. The two older ones
have monkeyed on, hurrying
to outdo one another, spiraling up
the main trunk, and then away from it
to the edge of thinness
where they perch like crows. I have
taught them to secure three points of contact
before reaching for the fourth,
to test limbs before trusting them,
but they move with such speed
they barely listen,
climbing with a sense of balance
more innate than learned, taught
not from what I remember in climbing,
but from what they already know.

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