Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Morning Poetry

Hilton Head, August 2013

Poem Not for My Son

There are things you can't tell
a child -- they'd sit too heavily
upon him, like the crowns
of young royalty:
Tutankhamen holding up
that twelve-pound crust
of gold and emeralds
on his slender neck.

So I gaze at my boy
only when he's sleeping,
when the torrent
won't sweep him off
the cliff, when the beam
won't scorch his retina.

He works out now,
lifting cold black
barbells, his muscles rising
like good bread.

Think of every great thing:
rush of grain
through the elevator shaft,
the crush of water
fathoms down, glaciers
calving, the surge and weight
of tectonic plates. I shut
the door on my love.
Just a faint glow seeping
under the crack.

Ellen Bass


  1. I can't believe this, but I dreamed of Ellen Bass last night whom obviously, I do not know. Why would I do that?
    What a beautiful poem. What beautiful sons you have.

  2. Wow-this blows my mind. It gave me the chills. I have 8 month old twin boys, and a 4 1/2 year old girl. I feel that way about my sons already, and they are so little, and so adorable.

  3. Your boys are adorable, the poem perfect. Oliver is The Bomb.

  4. Oh that poem. God. Sons will be our great undoing.

  5. Oh my god, Elizabeth. This poem makes me want to weep. Such truth.

  6. Oh yes and thank you. So good. xoxxoS



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