Upon Sight of the Ball He Gave Me

The boy raced the other boys his age,
Fighting for possession of the prized
Green-and-white oval ball,
The football that the excited girls
In short, pleated skirts
Had tossed at the crowd.
He envisioned the pride that
His older brother, the football player,
Would have in him if he
Won the prize. As a matter of fact,
His brother was doubly proud
When the youth showed him
Two balls and willingly —
Quite happily — surrendered to him
One of the treasured momentos.

There have been many things
That he has given me,
But above all —
Above the smiles and the jokes
And above the footballs —
He gave me love
And joy — and much happiness —
A special love,
HisĀ special gift of happiness.
A gift that I never returned properly,
Being young. And foolish by nature.

— March 1970