gator ride through the orchard (easter)

the tractor growled, and we flew down the hill,

twisting, turning through the trees

steering handle spinning as we snuck past the fence

“This is illegal, by the way”

the grandkids are screaming, half fear, half delight

that grandpa would do something so reckless.

mentally, I am careening back across that Arcade highway

the snowplow shatters us again! I snap back to reality

jolting, the grass is high and the road is rubble

the steep hill we are climbing, fast

like the road to Kidepo, soaring over the stony hills

swerving, sliding around in the loose shale

even the dirt matches, it is orange dust

and I am 12 years old again, home and free

after burning season, the grass comes back this green

and the ash leaves charcoal traces all over your white skin.

hit of freedom

we are just around the corner,

turning on the edge of the finale,

the door at the dead end says “OPEN”

since this is weather for flicking your sunglasses down on your nose

and letting the leaves blow out of hand

(they’ve been frozen all winter, let them play)

everyone is mesmerized, lying flat, stroking the grass with flat palms

wriggling fingers fearlessly into the cool soil. at last we have colour.

cut off your spare cloth, let your skin out

so the rays can heal us all of our journey inside

take a magical hit off the sunlight pipe,

it will change your world.


this sun

has to be a joke, it is

so drizzly wet outside and we are dashing

from buildings, breathing deeply

but trying not to ruin our hair

(let me say that the deepest joy

is from looking down and remembering that I am rooted in

boots I’ve had since I was eleven.)