You stand so close
fatless gut, lots of curly hair
I stare outside the window
a maple tree
a summer ripe distraction.
A swallow edges down my throat
my jaws clench tight
tin whistles echo in my ears.
I look down at the floor, squeeze back a whine
mixed with earnest benedictions for your future.
Your baby stroller we called Lucy
we amble in the dawn light down our leafy street
underneath the whispers of oaks and maples
I feast upon your sleeping eyelids
follow your breath…
Your white frame bed
at almost sleep time
you beg me for a not too scary tale
of pirates, Inca treasures, hermits’ ghosts
your wide eyes strong and endless
alert to every story turn.
Tonight I read this to your mother
in our den made quiet
neater by your absence.
She looked through me
pursed her lips.
I want him home again
so I can put him on the carpet
and just stare at him.