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.