when I was seven
and hadn't learned how to stumble
over my own mind
was better by virtue of being long ago of course
still, things were different,
weren't yet a nuisance
I was granted four months
of different altitude and air
the giant started calling me Spike
Of course it only made me angry at the time.
I wish I had understood how interesting he was
and how much he loved
all of us.
That's Paul's description, that's it,
he grabbed hold of the level of himself that understands young thought
and perfected it. So he taught high school
for thirty years
and was a good father three times over, helped build wonderful women,
and eventually made me proud to be his god-daughter
Three years ago I drove a thousand miles to see him
and I didn't call until I was down the road from his house.
Paul put a giant arm around me,
took me inside for chowder
and slightly smashed petit fours
and a picture window
with snow and deer
on the other side of it.
"Watch close, they'll come out, all you have to do
he said, understanding their habits
from the start.