When he ambles
ahead then looks
sideways to scan
the street as if
sight-reading sheet
music, I see
him several years
from now, awkward,
twelve inches taller,
stooping to clear
an overhang
of gangly branches,
and try to fix
this moment’s pitch
as if fine-tuning
chords on the keys
of a piano,
how he ad-libs
his gait across
a sidewalk slab,
scattering grace notes
behind each step.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 35 Number 9, on page 29
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