Stand Up High

Stand up high
Paolo* DiVincenzo was short even at nine
But the sense was he’d end up good looking
His Achilles Heel might end up being his height
So he engaged his Achilles Heel, or the muscles of his feet
Raised up his heels, never to touch the ground
He didn’t walk like the other kids, or stand like them
Always on tip-toes
Whether talking, or in line for lunch, or running
He bounced, a tight little bounce like* thick new metal coils were in each foot
Each heel never to touch the ground
His heels never graced cement of playgrounds, 
	or linoleum of classrooms,
	or scratchy grass of fields where wheezing battles happened in the hot afternoons

It was sort of loathsome, but secretly we were jealous
This boy had figured out this trick to make up for his one deficiency
And it sorta worked
And then, as suns spun around and we started noticing girls, watching their chests
And watching their eyes to see what they looked at
They noticed Paolo. “He’s gonna be really good looking,” they’d say
That was something the girls said.
They made those predictions.
And they noticed Paolo’s taut calves, more taut than a racehorse’s
But tan and glistening with sweat
Three years on tiptoes made legs of titanium, but 
	with his color of bronze
The color of a statue
That built itself
To stand in triumph



***
Aug 5/7, 2020
*or ‘as if’ is more correct
*Note - could cut “DiVincenzo