(when bored at work: create)

1 02 2012

The child poem
for Caleb

 

It probably starts with the hair:
Golden halo tousled into horns by sleep,
Then the sweaty neck, tongue thick and consonants soft
At awakening, the sun through the window where you kicked
Aside the curtain as you napped. It will remark
On the stuffed cat, or maybe the plastic wheels
Of the favorite green truck, and then,
With a metaphoric sweep, it will scoop you up and make you,
Despite your late arrival to this rich life already underway,
Generative, key, and instrumental:
‘You are the seed,’ it might intone, ‘that taught me how to grow,’
Or maybe, as befits the rhyme, ‘the star
That taught me how to shine.’

And I’ll grant, you’ve taught me plenty,
But to follow form, you’re meant to be the poet’s
Child, and despite your father’s sentiments, O
Monkey-mine, you aren’t (and your mother,
For all she bore you easily and burgeons, even now,
With the burdens of a brother, can’t bear
The thought of me). Still, like any pair
Who love, we have our ways of claiming.

It was to you I gave away the music I’d been saving
For then two-thirds, now going-on-three-quarters of my counted years,
To sing to sleep my someday child. And you
Were barely two when first you flung
Possessive pronouns around my denim calves,
Captured in the circle of your stretching reach.
It probably ends with a promise, the poem—
To hold you, to rock you, to set you free to burn
Your rocket-trails across the starry skies
You’ve just begun to draw, and of course
I’ll give you those gifts and a million
More, but the difference is it’s ending
That we don’t believe in, and we’ve
Already made the only promise
Either of us needs to stay on course:

For I’ve said, and you’ve said, and nobody remembers
Anymore who started it, that I’m
Forever yours.

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3 responses

1 02 2012
Megan

I like it.

26 02 2012
Anonymous

I love this line – “To hold you, to rock you, to set you free to burn
Your rocket-trails across the starry skies”
-and it’s in just the right spot too. beautiful 🙂

9 03 2012
tyra

Thanks!! I don’t do much that even looks like poetry-making lately–but it’s so nice to hear from you and know you’re still out there! Are you writing?

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