13 May 2011

The Senior Poem 2011

Parent to Child

Dear Child,

Out of our deepest love,
expectation.

My hatred for the word “precious”
is not because you have no value,
but because it is a word of greeting cards--cliched.
You will never know what it feels like
until a part of your soul
lies in your hands and
memorizes your face, searching for
some clue on how to grow.
Until the most beautiful thing witnessed
is a tiny person in a crib sleeping.
And while you nursed on sounds newly forming on your lips,
I saw a future better than I.

Out of our expectation,
disappointment.

Why is it we think the children will save us?
The regret is that any bad choice you will ever make
is a genetic mutation of my post-Edenic DNA.
The regret is that many plans I had for us
are still sitting in boxes yet to be opened
with receipts crumpled in my pocket.
The regret is
with me.

Out of our disappointment,
honesty—

the honesty about how I’ve tried to walk in your shoes,
to taste your music,
to talk as if age cannot steal youth from me,
but now I must face the mirror and see
the lines which read I am your parent and was not meant to be
your friend.
And I need your forgiveness for
trying to be
relevant.

Out of our honesty,
joy—

the joy that although religion is profane,
God is sacred and
that our home is a cathedral,
that I am the priest,
that every chore we shared
was a rite of worship,
each memory a stained glass piece of
a beautiful window through which we see the sky,
and that every argument was a prayer that you would be less me.

Out of our joy,
contentment

because family is an heirloom blanket, tattered and thread-bare,
a scrap of grandma, a stitch of aunt,
and if we
are careful not to let it smother us,
it will keep us warm.

Out of our contentment,
resolution

that you have become what you have become,
and I am what I am,
and there is beauty and flaw in both,
and that dirt was never anything but something to stand on
until God planted his breath down deep,
and in that resolution,
my child,
my precious child,
is hope.

Out of our resolution,
hope.

Out of our deepest love,
hope.

3 comments:

JessN said...

Thank you for speaking our hearts. Thank you for loving our children as much as we love them.

F.a.Ellis said...

Greetings!
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carolineb said...

Yes.

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