Brazilian pepper

Pz-avatarby RB Campbell27 Dec 2016

Soon after we start walking,
the warm drizzle gets heavier.
Your yellow T-shirt (ages 6-7,
chocolate ice-cream stain on the right shoulder)
is wet, and your hair.

You're outgrowing the shirt,
outgrowing the space you take up,
time's always too long.

out into space-time,
you say,
Let's just run",
when I suggest taking shelter
under two roadside trees.

But we stop.
The first's a yellow-wood, a fine spray falls
through waxy lime green leaves,
an echo of ferny hollows, peeling,
scratchy armadillo bark.

The second: Brazilian pepper!
Cheeky immigrant, fertile permanent resident in
a million suburban plots,
your tangled crown of branches says "I've just got up, so what?"

"Can I climb?"
The rain-smell rises off the tar.
But you're already halfway up, hanging
by your arms,
kicking your legs,
grinning down,
long little-boy muscles, well kneaded dough, shiny new-dug potatoes.