We walked the brook
behind the trees behind the house
that was the property line,
not three feet wide where widest,
trilling with a languid lisp.
Stooping under whipping branches,
stepping over stumps,
stumbling to stay a step ahead,
pointing to splintered limbs,
debris, mown grass in elephant
dung-piles on the shore; wincing,
whimpering, “Look!” he said
– the scar of a severed limb.
“Look!”— the trickle dammed
with cinder blocks and broken tile.
Sniveling old noddy,
bundled in his heavy coat, crying
over broken trees and a dribble!
I withheld contempt till at the line
he turned, shrunken, vulnerable,
and, ready then, but then
a glimmer in the angle of his eye.
“You get attached to things,”
he said, cheeks quivering.
Lovesick old fool! There
was nothing of any use to say.