Jon at Eighteen

by Jean Berrett

In your eighteenth year you are
as fragile as October ice
that gleams in puddles at the shore
of Lake Koshkonong.
You turn away, angry and afraid.

When I see you like that, I want to give you
something measureless and full of light.


I have no mother, no father.
But I have driven alone all night
and watched the setting moon dissolve
mammoth and orange
into the black sea of Nebraska.

I have walked nights at the ocean
listening to jagged cliffs
who answer the unanswerable Pacific:
be silent and resist.

My son, I am giving shape
to another arriving dark.
My son, there is a wind when it passes,
it is nothing but the wind.