The Sycamore

The young veteran — a double
amputee — is still learning how
to pilot a wheelchair. He stops
a few feet from the concrete lip
of the pond, gazing across at
a sycamore shining in the sun.
His eyes travel down the trunk
and into the water where
the shadow goes one way and
the reflection another. A carp
slides under the flesh-toned bark.
Meanwhile, his flannel shirt
has turned into a movie screen
for reflected sunlight,
dazzling the mallards crowding
around his chair. He glances
down at the dancing ghosts
on his chest, then reaches behind
for a bag of breadcrumbs
which he sets there where a lap
used to be, in that abyss.

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