But - last night reading The Sun (a literary publication I read from time to time) I stumbled upon this poem and it brought me tears. My son just had his 8th birthday - EIGHT! In this same amount of time, I will blink and he will be 16! This stops my heart in a gasping clutch. So - this poem grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me for all I'm worth. My hat is off Jim Daniels.
Last Night I Drove My Son Home
from his friend's house, where they were filming
a movie starring my son in a love triangle.
My son, fifteen, has never been in a love right angle,
or even a love straight line, as far as I know.
He stopped talking two years ago -
to me, I mean.
I got this secondhand from a street informant
I'll refer to here by her code name, Little Sister.
A warm night, windows rolled down - my cheap car
requires physical cranking. (Not even a CD player!)
Purchased in 2003 when he was ten and still kissed me good night
and may even have held my hand while we watched
old movies. (No cable TV either!) Yesterday
he made me kill a giant bug, and I briefly saw
that ten-year-old again.
Full moon - I could see him looking up at it,
following it as I turned and we lost it to the trees.
September, but moist like August. I ached
for a few soft words between us in that silence.
On a sidewalk near the park a young man sat,
face in hands, a friend standing helpless above him.
I slowed down. What's that guy doing? I said aloud. Is he OK?
I see him too, my son said.
As the friend helped the man
to his feet, I sped on.
My son hummed an old song about the moon
that I didn't know he knew. My son, the star
of a movie I'll never see. I just get
these vague coming attractions.
I caught him in a lie or two this week.
Every exchange a house of cards - all it takes
is a deep sigh, and they come tumbling down.
I'd have hummed along with him,
but I didn't want him to stop.
November 2011. The Sun 13
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