We walked you rowhouse home. The sun shone bright
on skinny arms and soft much-freckled squint.
Pale thirteen; voice gawk-creaking, roundsure-eyed:
“I love to football! Ev’ry thing ’bout it!:
To don the pads and cleats; the damp grass smell;
I love to run, to hit, break tackles, juke!”
I, something shorter but less spindle-ish
and harder than wobbly, uncentered you,
did nod in sunshine, bricks red alley gray,
supposing myself a greater bird of prey.
I see you’ve grown up rugged sure
with muscles, stamina, fire power
A warrior trained and tested too
I feel us all time-arcing through.
I was wrong; haughty little boys
are always misinformed by impulse
broad and shallow, born in the body,
stamped in the brain, forgetful of,
and its wise
steady careful counsel