Saturday, October 13, 2012
He's flint and bonfire, his tongue a scythe leaving ashes where it cuts. If I could I'd send him into the fields to roam and work, his capable hands. If you read aloud to him, the words settle deep and when he speaks of them and it, he is an older, wiser person than I, and if written down, a foreign language, gobbledygook. I drive down the alley to pick him up from school, shattered windows, a dumpster, and brace my hands on the steering wheel, uncertain whether a smile will climb into the car or a heavy backpack, bursting at the seams with the weight of years and unwanted history.
Yesterday, his eyes twinkled and he handed me a play check written out to me for 1,000,000,000,000 dollars. Pay to the order of Elizabeth Aquino, it said. I am sorry dollars. His signature an O and a swoop and a flourish. I wish that I could give him fields instead of the classroom, ease instead of angst.
Back from the Fields
Until nightfall my son ran in the fields,
looking for God knows what.
Flowers, perhaps. Odd birds on the wing.
Something to fill an empty spot.
Maybe a luminous angel
or a country girl with a secret dark.
He came back empty-handed,
or so I thought.
Now I find them:
the barbed weeds
all those with hooks or horns
the snaggle-toothed, the grinning ones
those wearing lantern jaws,
old ones in beards, leapers
in silk leggings, the multiple
pocked moons and spiny satellites, all those
with juices and saps
like the fingers of thieves
nation after nation of grasses
that dig in, that burrow, that hug winds
and grab handholds
in whatever lean place.
It's been a good day.