In our tree forts we sat high above the foggy clouds, a private Eden filled with the dizzy dreams and stolen first kisses of childhood. Hand in hand we run through the sparse under brush and weave amongst the long faced weeping willows. We launch ourselves high, up into the stratosphere, where cool winds lift sagging bows and the song birds laughed along at childish fart jokes. We spent hours, he and I, on our backs, bare feet, drinking Tang and being reckless. Until without notice, too soon he was called home.
For years, just the same, as we grew taller the clouds grew nearer became clearer. The painted boards nailed to limbs became fragile and like our voices began to crack. Our little games had taken their toll and the song birds cries stopped sounding so sweet. "What are you doing?" I remember the scolding tone, his deep blue eyes reflecting questions, below the brow of foggy clouds. And it was there beneath the trees we had played our games, and before the winds that held our lies, I first placed my hand beneath his hair and told him all that could be told, but it was before our lips could meet, a familiar voice too soon had called him home.
Three years of letters that we would write, falling out then back in love. I would visit on a Thursday but a Friday I'd have to go. "I'll be coming back for Christmas? Is your mother doing well?" His lips wasted in idol chatter their taste like the winds again had changed. He speaks of joining an army, with guns not twigs as we had played, in his voice the singing songbirds, in deep sky blue eyes those clouds were clear. My teeth bit a tongue that I'd wished had been his. "It's not your choice, I have to know. Please just promise you'll stay in touch, I'll need to hear a call from home."
Two more summers of letters and calls and Skype, of recalling his voice as it lingered beneath our stars. Brotherly photos with smiles shone bright, in his voice a laughing sweet salty tone masked the knowing songs of winter birds. The distance was too great, and my pride was too strong, the string between our tin cans grew weak and I could not hear his voice before he was forever called to home.
It was years that passed before I returned to that broken place, where the hope swung from the tops of trees, where boys played games with hearts and spades. Where sparrows and ravens and jays still sang sweet songs and blue skies still slept tight beneath the whispers of cloudy cover. He was here! Everything we touched, all of our whispered dreams now locked deep with in these trees. His voice once more rang clear in my ears as i remembered the boy that I called home!