Tag Archives: son

Heavy Hearted Son

i agree with him
maybe this is best
fast, like a band-aid
but i see sad eyes
oh to cradle, rock
kiss soft red hair
promise happiness
wrap him up tight
but it is her arms
he is missing
not mine


Relinquishing Keys

tomorrow is a big day for me

my youngest child turns 20

it is the relinquishing of the keys

no longer directing a teenager

now advising a young man instead

directions are meant to be followed

but advice is a new beast, optional

we’ve been practicing for a few years

dealing in advice until he chose not to take it

snapping back to direction, me still driving

i don’t expect this to be easy, it wasn’t before

how embarrassing to catch your mom trying

to steal the keys from the hook, sit in the front

why is this so scary? i know he is ready but

maybe i am the one who is not prepared

handing out maps I seem to have misplaced my own

Broken Rules

it happens every year to varying degrees

sneaking up in plain view, subtly marked on my calendar

written only in pencil as if i could erase it at will

the anniversary of learning that not all rules apply

parents don’t always die first


i have to remind myself that i am not unique

grandma, burdened with a disease that stole memories

but not her grief, cried out each day for her lost son

someone took my baby, where is my baby, give him back to me

my aunt sharing memories of her baby boy being brought home

in a very small box in the back of the car, long miles of silence

the afflictions are irrelevant, the stillness of our sons is not

we believed the rules would apply, the rules should always apply

all we really control is our response, all else is smoke and mirrors


he carried your casket alone, standing tall, he did not stumble

i walked behind, barely standing at all beneath the weight of my grief

we somehow set the pace for lonely, singular walks through dark valleys

delivered to babyland, like they thought it might lighten the mood

it was not, nor is it now, a rollercoaster found at amusement parks

my sadness no longer resides there, unfulfilled dreams have all grown up

that guttural sound emanating from the hole left behind is still here, now muffled

the years have covered it with surprising laughter, wrapped it with fresh hope 

love from all sides, memories of you, soften the edges and bring you to me in flashes

the smiling baby whom I loved, others barely had chance to become smitten with

life can be so unexpected that to us, mere mortals, it appears cruel and unfated

especially on a saturday morning when we are trying to pretend that all the rules apply

our hearts grasping and reaching out for what might have been and coming up empty

Waterfall Offering

i have my own waterfall picture

framed with mirror along the edge

perhaps this is so it can reflect

like water at a cascade’s base

or a storyteller from our tribe

it plugs in and it lights up

it even moves and roars

reminds me of a younger son

searching for a ritual to manhood

looking for tokens to place at my feet

selected one afternoon just for me

a gift of my own piece of solitude

hangs in the corner of my room

curious how such a young man knew

I was looking for a place I could go

for me alone, that could soothe my soul

Red Tag

forget frogs and snails and puppy-dog’s tails

little boys should come with a red tag warning

will jump more than a frog

respond slower than a snail

be more hyper than any tail

will steal your heart and mind with his eyes

respond to kisses and hugs when nobody is watching

be an incredible friend that you will worry about forever

will have stitches from his various adventures

respond to kleenex by wiping his nose on his sleeve

be a giant you want to cradle when another bone breaks

will grow into a man that is amazing to watch

respond to his world with the love you poured out

be a joy you will one day release to other waiting arms

I guess a red tag wouldn’t change anything


he read it once, read it againchords

asked me to stay right here

he ran down and back with

guitar and a strap and said

mom, just lend me your ear

the words he sang out

in his young man voice that I love

I sat quiet and somewhat amazed

I have heard him before

singing out through his door

but this is a moment I’ll save

he’s so tall I look up 

just to see his big grin

smiling as bright as the sun

I think of him still as my little boy

even though his growing is all done

I considered the difference

in the words that he sang

though the order was all just the same

the laughter, the passion, his eagerness too

this all isn’t something you train

I smiled at him, thanked him, and agreed to a future show

he said we’ll try some new chords tomorrow mom

right now I’ve just got to go