A Mind Like Pahoehoe
When his grandfather gave him a video
about the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s,
he memorized it right down
to the inflection and flow
of the narrator’s voice.
He threw himself into volcanos,
their names becoming household words:
Etna, Vesuvius, Kilauea,
Coatepeque and Arenal,
Icelandic volcanos, whose names
he could rattle off with ease.
We learned the different shapes,
which he would model
in the infield during T-ball games,
till I moved him to right field
(for safety’s sake),
and the different types of lava:
rough a‘a (useful in Scrabble),
smooth, fun-to-say pahoehoe.
We delved into tectonics
and subduction zones until
the Ring of Fire was more
than just a song, and in my mind,
Johnny Cash forever walks a line
around the Pacific Rim.
It’s been like this with everything
on which he’s fixed his gaze.
His mind is like pahoehoe,
consuming all in his path.