That morning
he’d learned to tie his shoes
and sat at the bottom of the stairs
loop, over, through, pull tight.
I looked down
at his bent body,
the taut cords
of his neck,
the careful rise and fall of his back,
the adult waiting
in the shape of his head,
lift of his shoulder,
standing at a window
looking out,
or hanging up a phone
after hearing bad news.

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Photo by Amanda Belec on Unsplash