My father bought hundred dollar gym shoes
sometimes two or three pairs at once.
When dirty, he threw them in the washer then baked them in the dryer
they bubbled, hardened, and cracked.
He might throw one of his new shoes to the teething Labrador
or wedge his feet into them and go for a run through the woods.
At dusk, just after a summer rain, you might see it:
six feet tall
covered with hair from sloping cranium
to flashing white Adidas
brown hair hovering over the skin
like a bestial aura.
Glimpsing it from behind, you might think it
a silverback gorilla.
From the side or front, you saw a naked man
running through humid woods
verdant bright and dripping moist.
Powerful forearms and biceps pumping
streaking through the flora amidst the scattering fauna
just outside the watershed of a conservative community.
He came out of that wilderness refreshed
then donned his uniform and returned to work.
He was specialized, his own boss
Owned his own business
fathered four offspring
all of which survived childhood.
Sitting on a boulder near the bank of the main tributary
I lace an old pair of his shoes I have managed to work into.
The hirsute curse
call it ursine, call it Cro-Magnon,
crawls down my back, too.
Running naked through the woods
I look like a white American male gorilla
age 25-40, though not yet a silverback.
A wild beast lurking outside the confines of hackneyed civilization
successfully running through the jungle.