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He measures at about a third of the door
but his faith is easily
the largest thing in the room
as he stands there
like a little man-shaped cutout
from the frosty morning light,
palms pressed against the glass
eyes fixed on the snow-covered road
and his sticky-sweet young mind
dancing at the prospect
of adventure

his Daddy comes around
as promised and just in time
and the world is a happy painting
where the vivid colors are blended in song

and the tiny, innocent heart
that he puts on the line every time
is saved
every time

by the man who is grown
but still sometimes wonders
whatever happened to the dog
that he owned for a few days
when he was little, before
his mother took it away because
they couldn’t afford to keep it

the man who still lets sadness
fall in the spaces around his words
when he talks about the time his father
dropped him off at Grandma’s,
just for a few hours, he said
then later we’ll go fishing, he said
and didn’t come back
for twenty years

the man who dragged himself
back to his job three weeks
after a ruptured appendix,
who goes to work
through rain, sleet and snow
who freely gives his time
despite the flu or a swollen knee
trying to be a better father
than the one he knew

the man who now looks at this child
with a fierce love that may take him
many years to fully understand,
who clings to him
with trust and glee and wonder
and veneration and friendship
all thrown together and mixed up
like a joyful mess of cherished toys
on the polished hardwood floor.
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Skateboarders_MarkoMastosaari
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“Skateboarders” by photographer Marko Mastosaari

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