The Oldest Memory of a Young Boy

A prose poem by me. 

I look up at the tree house. The wood is warped and the steps leading to the top are held in place by weathered nails. The paint is hazy, similar to the eye as a mountain’s almost transparent color in the distance.

The branches, angled upwards, look like Gothic spires reaching for the Heavens. Fireflies dance in the field beside me and years of summers past envelop my thoughts; warming my mind.

I make my way to the top. The floor beneath me sags under the weight; it has become saturated with spring’s rainwater. Windows are broken and the acrylic marks of school kids litter the walls.

I can almost hear his voice. He had built this suspended oasis for his children. I had ventured with him here only once. He was old then, and as he climbed I could hear his bones creak louder than the wood.

He was brave to climb with me. But that was his nature. An out of place cowboy stuck in the wrong generation. His breath was loud, unsteady like stampeding horses. Although he was exhausted he breathed through his nostrils so I could not hear his panting.

I would not meet another like him. Unchanged by the world around him and humble. Even though to many it seemed as if he hung the moon, he would be the first to say that he would let you down.

I am going to try to walk in the craters he left behind. Treat people the way he did. Realize that imperfection can be beautiful to those who embrace it. But now I watch the auburn sun descend as I do the same and wade through a maze of thistles and dandelions.