by Joseph Baldwin

A sound like a bicycle horns,
coming at us at rooftop level, rapid and almost scary.
The six-year-old next door,
stomping his trampoline and soaring
again and again, cries to his brother:
“Geese! Geese! Hear?”

And again, without pause
in his jumping, himself airborne
almost as much as the birds:
“Geese! Hear?”

And I was glad I heard
both boy and geese.

He is the one who,
when three years old,
put the family’s miniature
Doberman-pinscher into
the refrigerator,
as a kind of experiment.
(The dog survived.)

And he’s the one I’ve seen
doing a sort of pantomime
on the way to school,
making only a bit more
progress forward than to
one side or other of the walk,

straying to look at things,
to handle them and test them,
to threaten them, to pose with them
— all the while voicing
a wordless music.

Him I have seen
breaking a branch off a bush
and making it his foil
for fencing with the other branches.

And once I saw him
picking up the little yellow flags
marking the path of
the buried natural gas line
and using them as darts
for tossing at tree trunks.

I shall hope to hear geese again,
and soon after, the boy
not yet immune to amazement
who, at home or edging schoolward,
dances his own movie.