My Son

by Greg McBride

A toddler sprawls across his mother’s slim
and lovely lap, his hair a reddish gold,
his face a whim of freckles. His hands softly
trace her sculpted chin. Waiting too, I feel
a wanting well. Does she know that one day

she’ll yearn to hold him as before? Her hand
spotted, perhaps, as mine, still wearing
the ring his sticky, stubby fingers twirled
around her agile finger, her skin glossy milk.
How persistent, those days which drifted by,
slow, easy, one by one, slipping through
our fingers like river water happy
in the rapids, the falls somewhere ahead.

She, less lovely then, and wan, will want
him still. Perhaps she’ll dream of cherubim,
her boy, like mine, too long a man. Now,
about to roll me away, my own boy
leans from behind. I feel his hand, gentle
at my shoulder, his whisper, Dad,
is there anything you need?