your bow lips purse in concentration on your
summer-tanned face. A
shock of blonde hair grows longer
and lighter by the day.
this is summertime and you are not a school boy but
a farm boy only.
the pocket knife in your hands, the one that made you know
you weren't a baby no more,
doesn't shock me. I bought it.
I blessed you to grow up and up,
to wield your tiny weapon in your wooded wanderings.
but your hands hold me captive.
as you whittle away, turning a stick into
a spear or a stake or a digger,
I see that the dimples on your knuckles have
gone the same way you used to sleep in my bed.
and I know that those hands that grew inside
my skin will just continue to grow
they will whittle wood and stretch fences and build worlds,
they will love a woman and hold babies
with bow lips on their sweet faces,
the very same lips you borrowed from
your father's mother. but I can't help but wonder
how many more days will those small hands
reach for me. how many more
times will they find me when something is scary
then you break your sharp stick and in the
pregnant pause after disappointment that sill
often births tears, you hand me the pieces.
as you turn for the woods, to find your next project,
I slip the fragments in my pocket,
a gift from my baby
who's not a baby no more.