On the last night Sam will spend in Kansas,
we sit in the shadows of a massive maple
beneath the only full moon of June.
We speak of raising children
and how important it is
to not miss too much of their growing up
and how the choice of careers
affects everything we touch.
He is in the middle of making his in the military
and I am still making mine in education
though the tapering half
has been more administration than teaching.
Tomorrow he will head to West Kentucky
to be back with Sara Jane and the boys
and after their trip to Jamaica
they will all make their way
up to Michigan and the next page.
Our conversation reaches back
through his childhood and mine
and we find traces of both
still run strong
in who we are
and what mistakes we hope we never make.
He asks a question I answered
over twenty years ago
and I can barely believe
he doesn’t even remember
the asking or the answer.
I stare into the glowing embers
of the burning brush pile
and think of how a chunk of wood
smothered by ashes
can smolder for days
until some fresh stirring
and the breath of air
brings it blazing.