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Every so often, my mind wanders back to the summer of my youth, where a specific memory awaits. 

Having completed my first year at University, I’ve come home and my younger brother John, fifteen, seems all grown up, so different. He’s gotten taller but it’s more than that. 

He offers me a tour of his new ‘Boyz Only’ clubhouse, I almost wonder if he has missed me while I was away, likely not. The shell of a hand-me-down camper has been converted into a hangout. When I mention that he keeps it surprisingly neat, he snickers and reveals his stash of hidden girlie magazines, safe from the inevitable parental inspection. 
I am impressed, and at the same time, I can’t help but feel like I’ve entered a time zone, a door, a transition. On one hand, it feels surreal; on the other hand, it’s an honour to just sit here as a guest.

I talk to John about what it was like to adapt to life in the big city. He talks to me about his recent exploits and his adventures with his friends. It isn’t long before we reminisce about the escapades we shared when we were younger. In our pauses, we’re somehow cognizant that we’re one step closer to adulthood, to what we might call freedom. 

In the past year, I haven’t thought much about home and our countryside fields. For me it’s more about what the future has to offer. But on this day, it’s tangible how John and I are setting out on different journeys. He is next in line to fly the coop and I'm sure he realizes it. As we spread our wings, it’s obvious that the gap will only grow.

This precise moment clings golden to me, ever so close to the surface of my heart.

                                            at the forest’s edge
                                            by the old baseball field
                                            youth within reach

Submitted on December 17, 2023 for contest TRANSMUTATION POETRY by UNSEEKING SEEKER

Copyright © Line Gauthier | Year Posted 2023


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Date: 2/11/2024 10:07:00 AM

Wow this is fantastic. Did it get no win? I love it.
Date: 1/16/2024 9:01:00 AM

Hi Lin, I enjoyed this sentimental piece on your brother. Haven't seen your poems lately and hope you are doing well. Happy New Year 2024!
Date: 1/8/2024 1:06:00 PM

This poem paints a magical picture.
Date: 12/22/2023 1:11:00 AM

Your haibun captures the realization of an end of an era and the poignant feelings and memories of such beautifully Line. The words remind me of a certain part from AE Housman's "Shropshire Lad": "Into my heart an air that kills From yon far country blows; What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went And cannot come again." Honestly, up there with the best Line Gauthier work I've read. It stirred my emotions. All the very best. Cheers - Gary