You’re on my lap, that altar of nothing, the place
of best-left-alone. Look up: you’ll see the brooding face
of the broken, craggy tearfearmonger, who’d pretend
otherwise but who is familiar with ends, with spent
shots long fallen wide, with off the marks and sillygrim falters.
My son, do not do as I say, do as I dream: altered,
able to bear you up, hoisted high, the better to see.
Tigers fly up in the sky. Elephants juggle. I flee,
crumpled, starseer, but remember your weightless occupancy,
your looking up, seeing all I give: afraid to be alive, clemency
granted to go. You’ll come too, soon enough,
life is the pratfall ergo, life the blessed slough,
life the poor set of choices you’ve inherited.
Meet the world. Unprepared, billeted.
Two Year Old Birthday Sonnet
Two years old and it’s easy to buy for you: a car
with Doppler roars, a banging game, a tool belt.
I’m afraid I do not know what you are:
seer of my sadness, negotiator of tuck in time. I’ve felt
your weight, watched your tumbleweed gait,
saw the far-away play in eyes too close to mine.
Pain makes you cry. It is our shared state:
the difference is, I anticipate. The sign
that you will not be like me: early morning,
I hear you in your crib, happy with the request
to get up. My mornings start with warnings
to not betray the day before. Your quest
is today: where the treasures are truly blessed.
My son, on your birthday, the only recapitulation
that joy anoints, I’ve a few trinkets time purchased.
Letter To My Son
There is no proper fable. Only mothers and fathers
and a wickedness that is chosen, and is stable;
when all despair, you will be chosen as witness
of yourself, not of success or failure or escape;
when called, you will come, a bearer of the news
that was bestowed by ghosts that you feel you follow;
that love’s rescue was not won, nor deserved,
but simply there, for it was chosen. What else
will you choose? Will there be reasons?
Or only other seasons to bury mistakes and,
at safe removes, to watch the bitter bloom?
What is the question of what to do?
Falter? It passes. And then the coming true
is an Elysian field, where you will go
if you tilt at enough windmills. Be still there
and see. How far away is the due?
There is no way, no showing you.