He looked at me and shook his head.

‘Son,’ he said, ‘you don’t think right and it bothers me.’

If only I’d fallen further from the tree.

I search the bough and dig the roots,

footing loose under leaf cascade

I strip the bark and count the rings to find a gauge.

Kicking rubble clear of recesses I have mined,

I find kindnesses kept in corners, and dust them clean.

Dirty, lean, forlorn faded scenes,

moments rendered in muted pastel mosaic.

Sic transit gloria.

Such brief euphoria

A cobbled collection of passed injustice,

weakened bliss and cracked smiles

draped over miles of life and lot

and lessons since forgot.