Give a kid a cardboard box
   and it will become for him
          a clubhouse
with secret knocks and passwords
or a rocket ship to the moon.

And when it's old
     he'll smash out the ends,
climb inside ...
        pretending …

… to be an army tank,
mowing down the unseen enemy,
              the bully up the road.

I had a friend
         when I was nine.
We made a pact
     to be friends for life.

How foolish I was
to think that relationships

Even when I was alone
in later years
I could not reach to him …

He had changed so radically
no words
     could renew the bond
          we had made as children.



There was a tree 
in our neighborhood.

An old, majestic oak
     we called "Big Brownie."

 In its trunk nails were driven
      two or three in a cluster,
            like footholds
                  in a mountain.

I would take those winding stairs,
follow them high
through the twisted maze
            of branches.

    as far as I could
until I came to this small small fork

far above the houses…

There I'd sit for hours,
separated from family
         and superficial friends. …

     when the wind blew
            too swiftly.

I trembled
      with the tree
               in harmony

as a storm approached.


 © 1998,2021 Gary Browe, All Rights Reserved