Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Relative Motion

Unfortunately, I think that poetry is becoming an increasingly less appreciated art form, but it is something that I still enjoy quite a bit, so I'll likely be posting the occasional poem. For some reason, while the boys were eating breakfast this morning, I was struck by just how quickly they're growing up. Maybe it was something in the way Trystan said "Mo nana pee" ("More banana please," not a reference to a urinating Grandma named "Mo"). Anyway, it got me thinking about how watching your kids grow up is rife with conflicting emotions. Pride and nostalgia. Love and a little sadness. I was reminded of this poem I wrote a while ago, inspired by one of our trips to the playground when we still lived in GA. Occasionally, I'd ask my husband to hang back with one of the boys so that I could get some alternating one-on-one time with each of them. I'd often bring Cameron (my camera...yes, we name lots of inanimate objects in this family) along, hoping to capture some of the moments I knew I'd treasure most from their childhood, freezing them in time in order to turn memories into something tangible. That is exactly what the picture below is to me--a memory I can hold close to my heart, both physically and emotionally. This is the magic of photography, another passion of mine. It is so amazing to see the world through the unadulterated mind of a child, to whom such simple experiences seem like The Greatest Things in The World. I am so blessed to be able to share these moments with my boys, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. There will come a day when going to the playground no longer fills them with ebullient anticipation, when being pushed on a swing is "boring," when hanging out with Mama is kind of lame. So when people wonder aloud how I "put up" with toddlers all day, my answer is simple: because they still allow me to.

Relative Motion

He swings blithely.
Vitality, sunlight, and the curved
black vinyl warm
his cheeks, anointing
his flesh with the beaded blush
of youthful wonder. He is lifted
to the sky, suspended
for an immaculate moment
in a pocket of atmosphere and giggles

before gravity
pulls him back towards earth.
He soars over the world
and sees it with wide eyes.

The wind blows
his white-blonde hair heavenward,
tufting it about his head
like a halo of dandelion seeds,
engulfing him in a downy
cloud of hopes, wishes,
promises. He pulls
me with him,
his momentum infectious.

His knuckles are white
and tight as clenched teeth,
grasped around braided metal.
Soft palms stifle
the groans of rusted iron, fingers
pressed into the concavity of steel
loops. Overhead,
birds chirp, echoing
sounds of unadulterated freedom.

And with each oscillation,
the distance between our hearts
opens and closes,
opens and closes,
opens and closes.

He is a pendulum—
a poignant reminder
of life’s brevity.

And is it the wind, or time, or
my hand
that drives him forward,
into the intangible?

And when the motion
finally slows—just enough
for him to recollect my presence,
and reach out to me—
is it only my imagination,
or is the boy I lift
in my arms clinging
to me a little less tightly
than the one I put in
moments ago?


  1. I may have wanted to cry by the end...

  2. Brilliant as usual - it's generally not til they're older do we start to feel the "loss" side of it
    your buddy :)

    1. Thanks, buddy :) I'm already feeling it. Lol. There are so many sweet, unique, individual little habits and eccentricities that they've already grown out of. I try my best to document all of them with photos, writing, little notes on greeting cards - I just don't want to forget anything.