Mornings I’d crawl down to listen
to the boys feed the calves.
John let them suck his fingers.
He didn’t know they wanted milk.
Josh ran. His mom called him rabbit.
His wall jammed with ribbons.
The boys slept in bunk beds.
I heard them whisper about the west.
Matthew dreamt of the other coast.
He learned everything about surfing.
I can see them older now, wading
into the Pacific with long boards
under their arms, tight rubber suits
zippered. Everything rippling out.
Jeffrey Perkins received his MFA from Bennington College and his work has appeared in The Cortland Review, The Massachusetts Review, and The Southampton Review, among other journals. He teaches poetry to adults in Brookline, Massachusetts. You can find out more about him at http://jeffreyperkins.tumblr.com/