The Arrowhead Points North

When I was young

I had an obsidian arrowhead.

It was chipped away along 

the edge

 into an oblong 

diamond, slightly curved.

I can still remember the irregular sharpness,

the way it cut dents into my skin.

Some memories leave deeper marks on us

than others.


will immediately be a siren,

a signal for all my world to stop.

Like the way I rose up from deciphering 

the cougar paw print in the mud

 in my childhood neighborhood

to stare face to face with a six point buck.

I can still feel the sun caked 

brown of that forest.

You will reminisce of barnacles while barefoot,

the sap-laden scrape of pine bark branches

twenty feet up.

You will be all the beauty 

and all the mess 

of adventure.

I will walk you to rivers

just so we can face the challenge of crossing them.

The way the moss slips feet into tight crevices,

step light and solid all the same.

You with your fragile flimsy newbornness,

me with my steady footing:

We will carve our names

into the trees along these trails.

I will quickly become familiar 

with the radiant heat 

of your rapid heartbeat,

the shape of your nose,

the soles of your feet.

I will be the connoisseur 

of your contraption,

every contrived trace terrain

in face, in hand, in brain.

But, son, you must know that

as you grow

I will love you less in touch or force

with love no less tangible:

trade my deep knowledge

of the texture of your skin

to grasp the contour

of your soul.

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