by tobias crabtree
out the back door of my parent’s house
at the bottom of the stairs,
where the ghosts of the dogs of my childhood
gather with lolling tongues,
there is a world.
that yard is smaller, less steps to the side gate.
time made it shrink.
the old bikes are mostly gone, those that remain
are quiet on flat and rotting tires.
they lean in repose, remembering.
down the hill is the creek in it’s sandy bed,
ancient races of crawfish, shellshod and blue-eyed,
hunker down into muddy holes.
this same creek that watered comanche horses
before england and spain came.
the hill home is steep on a single speed.
banana seat and coaster breaks.
mama bakes in the kitchen while pa studies
the words of the prophets.
the smell of tea and coffee.
in between the words birth and death
there lies a distance.
our eyes collect the colors and our ears
hear the clunking heart that will tell us
when we are going home.