The town parade hijacked by partisans,
We repair again, my grandson and I,
Up Perry Brook on the Fourth of July,
Cool water over our ankles,
Over dark rocks, the soft green decay
Of ancient logs.
Content with ritual, we do not try
To reach the second bridge this year.
I move less nimbly,
Balance not what it was.
While I was not looking,
Philip has become a young man
With achievements and dreams.
He still waits for me,
Holds back branches.
We look across a pool,
Reddish brown stillness.
Each of us wonders
What the other might be thinking.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in June 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club, and have appeared in over 150 periodicals. A retired educator, he resides in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Burlington, N.C.