Cut Short

The living of youth is shortly buoyant, afloat
as a passenger in the front seat with the kick
of legs dangling inches above the car floor
and a face of few sights swimming out
the tempered glass window in layered pools of strata,
serous skies, and also, the more immediate tops
of utility poles which wired the arid voltage
for the barber’s sheers during an after-school haircut.

Wafts of dry clippings that fell onto the floor
tiles mopped with wax, that shone with the mirror
reflection and lights in the ceiling, that open zone found
in the indoors, interior of mind, beginning to collect
the pronged endings of growth, the first stabs of experience,

as what the barber’s early ancestor felt years ago
when he was sent out for a survey of the edges of town
and arrived upon clumps of blanketed tufts which had
flanked a white deer, unveiled after winter’s first thaw
with the mists on the cold soil and the clouds of nebula;
and from this he later retold as a story of life’s dander,

explanations to children who’s minds have dreams beginning
to rise and so that memories drop into channels holding
a seeping trickle of groundwater drunk by three brown birds
flying safely above shaved and shorn explorers, hunters,
courageous men grown into age with fitted security ruts, bravely
pacing the borders of the same-old floating distances of the past.