Title: Jesse's Knees


Jesse’s Knees                                                                                                                                                              

They are shaped like stereoscopic images of Hudson’s Bay                                                                                                                                A child’s drawing of a leg and knee:                                                                                                                                                              Alder saplings with bulging burls half way up.                                                                                                                                                     I took a photo of Jesse’s knees to help remember                                                                                                                                            the early history of Band-Aids all askew like toy cars in a pile-up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jesse likes to summarize from time-to-time                                                                                                                                                    the incidents, as his tender skin gathers the accretions of boyhood.                                                                                                             Some pale scars will be visible when he is a man my age                                                                                                                               looking in the mirror for the boy he was:                                                                                                                                                        This one I got when I fell off my scooter going down the walk behind the                                                                                                    school-it was epic!                                                                                                                                                                                           This one was tumbling from my fort on the picnic table.                                                                                                                       Substitute roller blades, skate board, wheelie on my bike, running full                                                                                                        speed tripping on a root climbing the boulders at Mt. Maxwell                                                                                                                            slipping on moss at ninja camp, the tire swing, chopping wood,                                                                                                                           carving a weapon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Jesse’s knees are a tangible record of summer’s freedom unleashed by a                                                                                                    spirit of go, of adventurous days that begin with a rapid patter to the foot                                                                                                     of our bed and a whispered “can I come up.”                                                                                                                                                        Since he first monkeyed out of the crib, so the day begins                                                                                                                              his knees ready for anything. .                                                                                                                                                                     Jesse is fascinated by the marks on his skin, how cuts bleed,                                                                                                                       scab over and heal- a scab is both a badge and a project.                                                                                                                                 A boy ferrets to a bunk bed hideaway to worry at the crust upon his knees                                                                                           profound for him as growing bigger every day.                                                                                                                                               The ritual growth chart now reads fifty seven pounds and forty three inches.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I look at Jesse’s knees and try to conjure the boy standing on a wooden swing                                                                                                a half century ago.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Peter Allan 2015

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