A Poem For My Son

Little boy
you carry my heart with you each day
in your grubby hands -
your rarely washed-well-enough hands,
with fingernail nubs and marker stains.
Little boy hands
that dig in the dirt,
press together Legos,
carefully smash pencil lead into 
backwards letters and misspelled words;
Oversized like puppy paws
They grip and shoot a basketball with more control than I ever had,
They pull bicycle handlebars up into wobbly wheelies;
but then yank your sister’s hair and the cat’s tail
and smear glossy toothpaste messes on mirrors
and drop stinky socks like a breadcrumb trail in your wake
as if they spent all day plotting ways to drive me crazy.
 
Little boy 
You melt me with a smile
And enrage me with a sneer.
 
The fierceness of your love for me
is held delicate by your budding pride,
as your carefree dash into my open arms
is checked halfway by sideways glances to your crew;
Youthful innocence eroding away by the world’s expectations of
what it means to be a man.
 
Still young enough to need kisses to mop tears after skinned knees,
but quick to untangle from my snuggles 
when the neighborhood boys come peddling down the street.
 
My Little Boy
almost 4 feet tall
all arms and legs 
and skinny chest
and spikey hedgehog hair
that never lays the way you want it -
to look cool -
to soothe your rising inner critic
I wish would stay dormant.
 
You turn and walk away from me daily
with barely a whispered kiss anymore;
Your lion-cub confidence
made small by a backpack
loaded down with the Weight of the World.

©Vixen Lea 2020

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