Emmett and the White Boy
Karyna McGlynn

From the Sally Mann photo, 1990

In a few more summers he will grow
bark and his lips will birth

wild strawberries, already strutting
up rope and plywood ladders, lord

over everything white -- English
captives cum classmates

backed shyly into the tender
slips and thorns of foxglove, eyes

deep-set in the soft-shelled egg
of winter skin blink slowly,

flick off black freckles like gnats
from the fast moving shadow of my son,

the raptor, hair gelled back
in the awful glamour of river water,

loons calling everyone to come out
for this brief christening of curiosity.