David Thurau
Moving to a Smaller House
by Kyle Hunter

I was nearly nine.
Finally, I had decided to abandon my rebellion
and join my parent’s church.
I can’t recall if the baptism was nice.

Dad retired as a Captain
We took our things and passed through
the guard gate one last time
I didn’t think to look back
I didn’t know that from here on out
my world was shrinking.

I’d never again kick up the familiar dust
of the maple-columned corridors of nature’s chapel
or race forward under sheen green frescos
to drink from the living water
and catch crawdads in the river

I’d never again sit at the feet of the half-pipe
watching sun-made halos
grace the buzzcuts of teenaged flyboys
spinning in the space above my head
or run the secret messages of my compatriots
through thickly veiled forest
chased by the echoes
of massive iron horseshoes
that cast up sand at the boundary
between jungle and a civilized party.

But most of all
I’d never again ride
my bike at reckless speeds
down the hill and off
the mud-packed ramp
closing my eyes
soaring weightlessly
through nothingness
and everything.

PHOTO: “Au Sable River Bend near Oscoda, Michigan” by David Thurau. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is about the last time I moved as a kid. My family moved from Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan, to West Lafayette, Indiana. My father was getting out of the military, which meant that after moving regularly for the first nine years of my life my family would never move again (my parents still live in the house that they moved to then). As I looked back, I realized that I left a lot behind in that last move.

PHOTO: The author at age nine — just after the move.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kyle Hunter is an attorney living in Indianapolis with his wife and four young children. His work has appeared in Branches Magazine and So It Goes: the Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.