one of my favorite things about the moment
i walk into your house
(which always smells like Christmas did when
I was eight years old)
is turning the corner and seeing your frame
tall and brown, weathered and smiling
then squeezing you tight for a good minute.
unfailingly, each time you laugh and comment
on the quality of the hug.
i know you were born into a black-and-white photo
or maybe sepia.
i know you carried a twig around for a toy,
maybe half a brick if you were lucky.
i know you’ve worked your hands to their very bones
all your life, and never once complained
you’ve never let your smile diminish.
at the dinner table, you are as observant as a spotted owl;
you have a quiet spirit,
a thoughtful heart.
and when you laugh,
the room booms with a series
of vibrations that make me reconsider humor.
i can count on one
hand the number of times I’ve heard
you speak with anger.