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Through you, I found the memories of touch, strength, motion.
and returned to a summer forty years gone- to hot pavement,
cool grass, sun-baked ground. My brother pinned me down
with his knees against my chest, his hands brown against my freckles.
Muscles roped along his arms and "uncle" was the magic word.
I knew that he would let me up if I didn't give in.
We were the atomic children, running fast on the sidewalk
so the wind stripped from our cells the DNA of childhood.
My brother climbed the highest tree, an eagle in his eyrie
and I would perch just one branch down always looking up
while he held on with his knees and spread his arms wide
king of the neighborhood, king of me.
In that summer he found the deeper voice of new adolescence,
I waited on the sidewalk but he never came again.
In his place, there was a stranger with New Rules in his eyes:
No sidewalk racing, No tree climbing and especially, No touching.
Leaving me to grieve in silence, my brother moved beyond my reach.
I didn't have the experience to say what we had lost or gained.
I say it now in this far summer when I feel my brother's hands.
In the practice of Aikido, aren't we young again?