The one I am is fragile in the mirror.
The one I was still lives wildly
along a nature trail, throws rocks
through windows of pools, makes waves,
never grows up but climbs the tallest
of an old-growth forest. He still growls
loudly in my ears, though the lines
he cannot cross are trails worn
so deeply in the past and on my face.
I grumble, clear a hole in the window fog,
replay a film on the pane, eyes flickering
along the forest path where the barefoot boy
is lost forever. Still an echo calls,
not to warn me, but to lead me through
long winters, the snow settling deeper
and deeper in my hair. The trail beneath
my slowing steps whitens, frozen in time
but for a time still cracking like glass.
Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where he serves on the board of FutureCycle Press. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review, Chariton Review, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014).