If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Twenty Years Later

Today is Angel's birthday. b and I are driving down to his school to take him out to dinner. I know at his age it is next year--the coveted 21--that matters, but for me there is something poignant about reaching the two decade mark.

Here's a poem I wrote a very long time ago, when I was already feeling he was getting so grown and wanted to capture some of the moments of his earliest years.


I remember your first practical joke.
You told me to get up and then
you took my seat

and laughed.

I remember you fell out of your chair
I didn't strap you in.
You only fell a few inches
you hit your head and
the floor was wood and
you cried and
I felt so bad
I knew it was a bad idea.

But I did it anyway.

I remember the time
I told you to bring me the toy and you
went to the other room
and got it.

I remember the first time I took you on
the subway and you fell asleep and
the train felt
too loud and
too dirty and
too dangerous and
you were so small
and I was afraid.

I remember bringing you into bed and
you would curl up with your head
under my chin and
the rest of you
between my arms,
your feet tucked tight into my chest.

I'd smell your little bald head and
drift into sleep.
But I'd wake up with
the bed and
my shirt and
soaked through
with pee and
milk and
needed to be changed.

And then I'd do it again.

I remember walking into the living room
and seeing you sitting on the couch
by yourself
like it was your house and
your couch

and it was.


Seeking Solace said...


Happy Birthday, Angel!!!

Annie said...

I love this poem! It made me laugh and empathize and feel warm inside. Thank you for posting it, and Happy Birthday to Angel!

Julie said...

Oh, my gosh, Brigindo! You have made me cry! But in a good way. I love this poem to pieces. It strikes a mommy chord in me, yes. But you've done a wonderful job of individualizing it, so that Angel's personality shines through.

I love the details. I love his joke. I love the smell of his little bald head while going to sleep in contrast with the pee and milk when waking up. The mother worry and guilt is so right on.

But what really, really gets me in the heart is the last stanza, that image of him sitting on the couch. I can just imagine a little boy, sitting there with his foot propped up as if he owns the place...and he does. Awesome repetition of those end lines. Even the narrator's voice characterizes the little boy.

Happy birthday, Angel! Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece. I love it when you post poetry. Now I gotta go blow my nose...haha!

Drax said...

Always loved this poem. Thanks.