Black River Boys (2006)
D.J. Heatherly Hall
Prepare, pack, plan, provide
Sun, hugs, mud, bugs
Filthy fingers. Happy feelings
Finding tree stars and tree nuts
Four-wheeling to a fishing spot
Our little bit of paradise
Where the River runs shallow and secluded.
Floating in clear coolness with eyes full of brightness
Dylan’s curiosity along with Devin’s sweet smiles.
Brings contentment to the family.
Small voice questioning all around us
What are those lines?
As Dylan points to the ripples in the water
Bordering us silently, moving as we slowly glide.
What is that sound?
Listening to concealed birds screech over head.
What are those things?
Looking intently at the polished pebbles under foot.
Tiny fishes scatter in all directions
Yet, the plastic red one is continually caught
Proudly on the end of Dylan’s reel.
Canoeist’s float towards us
Small talk begins. They comment
about our boys in the River.
Devin coyly smiles at them
Dylan shyly looks away, grinning.
Canoeist’s drift lazily past us
And Dylan quietly says to me,“I did not talk”.
Heather and Bobby take a walk, take a break
Alone together to float downstream.
Dylan tells me, “I can’t see.”
“See what?” I ask.
“My best friends” he says in his small voice.
He misses his mom and dad.
They are his world.
Minutes later he sees them floating towards us
he points at them excitedly with his whole self smiling.
Back at our camp site quick showers
Washing away sunscreen and sweat
Primed for evenings’ bug spray and smoke
Blued-eyed dimpled Devin bounces happily in his walker
As we work our magic on the grill.
Snuggled in their tent, our boys doze off before dark.
Time for adults. Starry nights and wine lead to talk
About life, the future, and The Universe.
Rise and shine to a dewy day.
Dylan chases his early morning shadows.
While running from hand monsters.
“It’s getting me, it’s getting me.”
Giggling all the while.
Early a.m. energy and excitement.
Stooping, exploring, digging, collecting
Acorns, rocks, leaves, memories.
Arms wide with joy, high stepping and spinning.
“Whats happening to me?” Dylan laughs.
His feet, in constant motion.
Coffee savored over warmth of the fire.
Simple moments make the grandest of occasions.
Dylan’s sweet comments and Devin’s carefree smiles.
Our Black River Boys.