3 years old
every day we would wait
at the playground
for his father to arrive
on the swings, never the slide
because he didn’t like being so high.
and every day he would laugh
with delight and surprise
as though it had never happened
that Bill would arrive

Snow and the city
And a little boy talking
Non-stop through a mile
Of wintry walking
No more than five;
Cheeks rosy, nose red
I can’t remember now
What he said
a memory in a snow globe
That little boy walking
Through the snowy city
And his non-stop talking

When he was seven
He went to the corner store alone,
and even though
He gave me his very best frown
For though he was ready, I was not
And I sat on our front stoop to watch

By ten he was taking the bus to school
all by himself
traveling half the northside.
one day he was late- an hour, two
I was starting to panic
I may have been crying,
He just took the wrong route
And figured out on his own
How to get home

we had a fight in the alley
I was so angry-why?
I don’t remember, but I decided to drive
off without him, just left him there
don’t worry, I just drove the block
and he was right where
I’d left him
standing akimbo, shaking his head.

when he went off to college
I would wake in the night
in a panic, my motherly radar fighting
my knowledge that he wasn’t there
and I couldn’t locate him
with my sleep addled brain
I’d lie there and quiz
I needn’t have worried
he’s always known exactly
where he is.

Part of the The Wedding Poems

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