the hedgerow of my grandfather’s house
was a perfect hurdle he scolded me for using
which I did whenever I thought he wasn’t looking
but he seemed always to be looking
so I was
ever hurdling and he accusing

the field behind our house on Oak
was wider than the a continent,
it’s climbing tree tallest, its high blue
wider than prairie sky—

we’d spend days there taking everything
the place would give us, gifts of high grass
and its rich underside —every
creeping crawling resident

those were days when roots were sent
and dies cast, days that would expand us,

in hours that would mark and brand us,
make us bigger, smaller, straight or bent


by Jim Culleny

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