The Highest Hill We Know


Wednesday at five.


Nancy and I sit

on the berm

at the edge of the beach.

Damp in our suits,

sharing binoculars.


Scanning north,

our eyes strain

for a glimpse of the Hudson.

Rolling dust curls,

with Dad inside.



yellow Hornet.

Sun flashing off chrome.

Now there! Now gone.


Bare feet

race across late afternoon grass,

tiptoe over

poking driveway gravel,

spin through high-noon sand

to the top

of the road.


We’re not allowed past our blue mailbox,

so we giggle and dance

in the shimmer

of an August barbeque.


Dust wallows skyward

from behind

the highest hill

we know.


Arms outstretched, we jump

at it, waving

to the flying machine

beyond our eyes.


It gobbles up

the summit,

then coasts to a stop.

Black sunglasses, silver hair,

and Jesus,

steadfast on the dash.


Four thumbs push

the chrome button to trip

the latch,

dispelling Sunday sadness.


Old Spice and

brown-bagged licorice pipes

pull us into

white work-shirt arms.


Lean, lanky legs slide

from the green nylon seat;

brown wing-tips slip,

sinking into

retirement sand.


We clutch and hug

his warm, calloused hands.


he lifts us, dry and dusty, to

sit on a fender.


We squint at the sun


the highest hill we know.


Tousling our hair,

he leaves us smiling;

wing-tips clouded

with happiness.


Thorax fender lights

blink red




Facing backwards,

we roll past

the blue mailbox,

toes dragging

through zig-zag tire sand.


Honking horns round the bend

into the shade

of suppertime.




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