Friday, January 07, 2005

always the kids

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Being a parent is such a daily and lifelong thing. What an illusion, to think once the kids are out of diapers, in school, through school, semi-on-their-own parenting gets easier.



EVERLASTING UMBILICAL CORD

3:00 a.m. –
instantly awake.
Sliver of welcome-home light
still shines under my door
a silent revelation
HE IS NOT YET HOME.

All sleep securely trussed and bound
by the everlasting umbilical cord
I go downstairs with sedatives –
pillow, journal, pen –
assume my post on the couch
and wait...

Every cell tingles
with questions, apprehension,
self-talk, prayer:
What on earth does an 18-year-old
do with his girlfriend at this forsaken hour?
There are people and cars around here
drowned in roadside sloughs
and not found for days
(girl, cut the melodrama!)
Dear God, please help him be okay.

Take up my pen
vent rage, fear
and live again a time
when the biggest risk he took
was a leap
from the fourth step
into my arms.

- January 2004

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nell, I had forgotten this poem. Reading it again, it offers no less grace than the first reading. It captures this moment of 'life' so completely, and THIS is the purest of poetry. Thank you again... JamesB

violet said...

You remember this!? Yes, I posted it on our forum some months ago. And, yes, parenting continues to be a challenge... albeit a very blessed one, which I wouldn't change for the world.

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