His gaze turns
from face to face, measuring
how much truth to spend.
No longer young, not yet old,
he makes absolutely no errors.

He’s loved by a woman
as luscious as a peony
but still wears an observer’s mask
shielding his father’s
father’s fears.

As a small child
he slipped on wet rocks.
One of his siblings claimed he’d cry.
I carry this memory alone,
walking with him now.