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Elemental swing

I marvel at my son, this winded child,
boasting about hitting the baseball.
“Did you see that?” he shouts,
breath escaping in gasps, jubilant fireworks
celebrating a victory for the ages.

I see it. The pride in his face — a lion
reveling over a gazelle that will feed
her entire family — sustains us,
nourishment neither of us knew we needed
but is now elemental to our survival.

We watch the pomp, sharing in
the ostentatious delight only a child
revels in. He’ll stumble — superheroes
sometimes step on their capes — but
swing again, confident in any winds.

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Honey bee

Once bitten, my son now fears all wasps,
bees – insects really – flying near our porch
or on his swing set. Twice, shy,
he has refused to go outside with me
today, hiding behind the safety of our walls
playing with toy cars, plastic trucks, and other
synthetic things. I want to keep him safe –

of course I do – but a world awaits him,
one with bee stings and honey,
blood red mosquito bites and
phosphorescent lightning bugs, itchy irritating
pollen clouds and sticky sweet maple syrup
and I must give a name to each of these today
so he can name his own world tomorrow.

We must take our lumps with sugar:
bees produce honey, pollen grows flowers,
and while I’m not sure mosquitoes
do anything pleasant, I spent many orange summer
dusks chasing lightning bugs and collecting lumps
And long to watch the joy in his eyes
as he braves the wilds of our back yard.

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Binary stars

He said he no longer wished
to be an astronaut because he didn’t want to leave
me. Sitting on the bathroom floor, waiting
for him – dreaming of space
form whom the past is “today” and the future is
“tomorrow” – to wrap up and climb
down, I watched as time melted,

reminded that he will leave – of course
he’ll leave – either for the moon or college or
a girl or some other thing I’m going to hate
but for now
there is no other time for me
than sitting on the bathroom floor, waiting
for him, my binary star.

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