As a boy my shins dangled from the lock’s concrete lip
My uncle’s hippie hair wisping like long, thin reeds
From where the Caloosahatchee’s brackish
Artery narrowed, stinted and dammed.
My uncle’s shins rest beneath white wool
In the hospital bed; a wincing in the chest; a flood
Of light from a window framed by careful measurement
Like his EKG, pulse, carefully kept.
Mommy painted you a snowscape acrylic
Pines white-powdered pluming when your tiny steel-
Toes scuff glassy drifts to dust & rut a trench across no
Man’s land, our Northern Border, laughing small, hollow against
The flurry, ceasefire on our flesh--mommy
Painted you a snowscape in the subtropical Palm Beach heat
That will melt your ice cream, your hand a sticky
Mess of sweet vanilla, fermenting things you’ll
One day lose--mommy painted
You a snowscape.