close carry

i used to fall asleep in the car,

riding home at night after a


long outing. i remember the hum

of the road, the flashing head


lamps; i remember the sudden quiet

of the engine cutting off, daddy scooping


me up in his arms to carry me in. some

times a shoe would slip, a mumble, a word—


a hint that i wasn’t completely asleep;

but he would carry me up the stairs into


the house, up the stairs into my bed.

i don’t remember what was said: just


the strong arms around me, the

scent of man, of capability, of love.


later there would be times i would try

to recreate this safe feeling, this


extended touch, this close carry.

but it was never the same.