Remembering Kevan MacKenzie
Once upon a time I spent a summer
At a camp for children far from here,
Teaching riding to young boys and girls.
I taught them to make a horse go straight,
The way to make a horse stand still.
They grew and danced like weeds before my eyes.
Now there remains in my mind’s eye
One face of all the faces of that summer;
It smiles at me, and I sit here
Wondering what’s become of all the girls
That Kevan MacKenzie hounded straight
To earth, and may be chasing still.
Every week there was a dance, and still
I can recall the roll of those girls’ eyes
As they hunted love, the first of summer:
Kevan, refusing to dance, stood straight
By the wall and dared the girls
To rout him from his sanctuary here.
Later he began to dress with care, and here
I remember the guarded gleam in his eye
As he came through the door and went straight
For the oldest and prettiest girl,
While with that stare that disturbs me still
The young girls hunted the first love of summer.
In the arms of that tall breath of summer
He danced, and looked her waist in the eye.
I whispered then, “Be cheerful, girls,
The sunshine boys are here.”
When the music at last grew still,
The tall girl smiled, once more stood straight.
The days of dancing and love rode straight
To the last long week of that summer.
When I said goodbye to my boys and girls
I stood among them with tears in my eyes,
While Kevan MacKenzie, smiling still,
Said, “You must be glad to get out of here.”
Now I sit here in another summer
And rising straight in my mind’s eye
Kevan and his girls are dancing still.
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