I’ve scolded my son for riding
the old green bike
(the one with training wheels that used to be his)
when he runs to get it before his little brother can,
riding it gleefully away from him.
Today, though, his brother wasn’t home;
so he pedaled slowly
around the driveway, pulled gently
at the duct-taped edge of the handle
as he rode.
I heard him talking softly to himself and
humming as he made lazy ovals
in the bright sunshine.
He kept going
until his sister called to him from the porch,
asked him what he was doing.
I heard the first words of the story
he began to make up,
then turned away so I wouldn’t
hear the end.
rough stones and moss
made slick by humid air
gather fallen leaves —
unsure footsteps and silence
grace summer’s indecision
I have typically posted tanka accompanied, and inspired, by an photograph. The image here is in my mind only, placed there on a late summer, quiet afternoon walk through the woods, unaccompanied by my camera or technology of any sort. I was disappointed at first not to be able to capture the moment…yet the words can do it justice, and the feat is unattainable in any event.