Nancy Scott McBride’s most recent poem to appear here was “Going Home” (February 2017)
By Nancy Scott McBride
That’s what we used to call him,
because he spent all his time outdoors,
walking the woods and wading the
streams of our little suburban town.
He kept turtles in the bathtub and
had a pet raccoon named Raquel.
Each weekend he went fishing
or frog-gigging, coming home with
scratched arms and scabby knees,
his clothes covered with beggars lice.
“I want to be a forest ranger when I
grow up,” he always said. “Out west
or maybe even in Canada.”
But he got into drugs in high school,
and his dreams went up in pot smoke.
Now he has a computer business and
his wilderness treks are of the virtual kind.
A father of grown children, he visits
us at our country home and watches a herd
of deer grazing in a field next to the house.
“I love to see the deer,” he says quietly,
sipping mint tea. “I heard a fox in the
night and also, I think, a coyote.”