They Run Free Like a River of Wild Horses
by Robert L. Dean, Jr.


For Caelan

in the high synapse valleys
where the grass is young and tender
and the larkspur and the bluebonnets do not trample
beneath their hooves
listen
you can feel the distant rumble
up through the soles of your memory shoes
as we turn

into a parking lot in the “bad part of town”
per your father’s delicate phrasing
though houses sag in other neighborhoods
and miracles are performed here daily
Via Christi
is what they call it now
from the Latin: a way, passage, journey
as we ascend

to the cancer floor
where angels tread in blues and greens
plucking hymns from laptops
you tug at me with your still small hand
whisper
a puzzle about a name tree sketched on scrap paper
that day we went to the library
as we enter

the little white house on D Street with its flowery wallpaper
Elsie and Edna scrunched on the sofa like ninety-year old schoolgirls
giggling while they rattle the family skeletons
mom and dad egging them on
tape recorder rolling
listen:
these are your grandparents, laughing, your great-great-aunts,
___telling tales
laying an extra place setting for your great-uncle Fred
in the part of town that never grows old
as we do






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