The hedgerow in front of my grandfather’s house
was a perfect hurdle, which he scolded me for using
but which I did whenever I thought he was not
looking, but he seemed always to be looking
so I was always hurdling and he always accusing

The field behind our house on Oak
was wider than the continent of any world
it’s climbing tree was taller,
its sky spread wider than the sky of Kansas
we’d spend days there accepting everything
the place would hand us, the gift of its high grass,
the richness underneath with every kind of
creeping crawler
—those were the days that would expand us
when roots were sent, where dies were cast
in hours that would mark and brand us
make us bigger smaller straight or bent


by Jim Culleny


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