One day this boy will be a man. He of the

sun-bleached  hair and long eyelashes

who smells like dirt under the nails, peanut butter

watermelon shampoo and hugs with his entire being.

I wonder if I will grieve this boy-thing beasty that

would rather dig holes in the yard with a spoon or

create wild art with torn sheets of notebook paper. No.

There can’t be grief where there are long walks holding his

square hand in mine studying bees and looking

for storm clouds and once he said he wants to be a father

and have a wife. My heart stuttered stopped my

eyes watered joy for his good dreams.

I am in the now with him because that

is the only place he can really find me

reading bedtime stories, teaching him a boy can

become a man who dances and women are his friends

not his adversaries and how books open doors and souls

and kindness isn’t something waiting on a shelf

for perfect timing and perfect faith.

As mothers we always find ourselves standing in


Between fractions of moments sometimes heedless

because days are at once short and long

counting calories and stretch marks on our thighs

buying boxes for our treasures left under beds empty

nurturing needing and dismayed by our own perception

of perfect and longing to be better because we value

what lies in the tide of our dna- the knowing it is one

day this boy will only have a memory of the lines on

our faces and the sounds of our voices singing Katy

Perry songs in cars strewn with wrappers and how we

laughed at bad jokes and told him stories about

our lives giving a glimpse of our inner selves

hoping he will see how dear is love and love

is energy that never dies but transcends the

weight of our bodies, bad days, and dirty socks.

One day this boy will be a man bristling with

maleness and wear his heart not on his sleeve

but in his chest loudly beating open, swift, and

giving as his bedtime kisses and curiosity.

For Zeke. July 13, 2015zeke