Creek Days
Jake Crist

Creek Days

My best days these days are creek days—
Days outside the silo my mind is,
Days with my son spent throwing rocks in creeks.
He never tires of his private task,
To toss a stone and see the splash and say
Look, look, see what I did and you should try
With that gigantic one over there.

My best days these days are next to water,
Preferably moving, accompanied by
A small human who’s irrevocably
Discovered, just now it seems, his most loyal
Companion—the world—is vulnerable
To his touch. It takes his tap, his lick,
His offering, his high-five—which is it?—
Barely flinches, turns another of its
Inexhaustible cheeks, resets
The gameboard, even supplies the pieces.

My best days these days are in shady places,
Skipping flakes of shale in minnow-crazed brooks,
A kid rapt by simple thermodynamics
Beside me, away from the granary
Of words my brain is. Electricity
Wriggles my son’s fingers after each throw.
It is good for me to be here, for him to show
Me: I did this. I did this. I did this.
Pure distilled deed, the basic ecstasies
Of repercussion—to be excited
By living again, life outside your head.

Jake Crist

lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he works for an affordable-housing nonprofit. His poems have appeared recently in Poetry, Plume, Threepenny Review, and Yale Review.