in autumn, at dusk 10/14/18

in autumn, at dusk 10/14/18

It has always been my favorite time of year—and time of day

—and when I can have them both,

I am able to feel

the way I felt being 8

lying on my parents’ front lawn,

looking up at the sky,

and seeing shapes in the clouds.

The rough grass prickling through my shirt—scratching my skin.

The sweat behind my knees and sticking my legs as they unfold.

Then I see you, my son,

your eyes reflecting goldening light as you tell me another of your stories.

The monsters and robots and self-made superheroes

are at it again and you are still winning.

Your arms are over your head holding up a truck-ship-time-capsule

And the glimmering sun is melting onto the train tracks in the west

as we sit beneath the trees we planted—their leaves sieving sunlight                                                                                                                                     onto your summer-shaded skin.

And your tiny hand fits into mine reminding me of all I am responsible for.

In an afternoon’s waning sun,

you spin and spin and spin

laughing and pirouetting

until your breath escapes and you collapse to the grass

that prickles your shins

and you hold out your arms to me and you are not 8.

But 15. And you are not dizzied by being the center of your own spinning,

but by the rotation of events around you—

the percussive sounds—of music, of your heart in love, of your pets’ soft                                                                                                   nudges, of your solidifying, edifying friendships

the smells of fire and freedom and fellowship tickle our noses and tears sting our eyes.

And your roughening hand bumps against mine reminding me of all you will one day create.

In an evening’s softening light,

You sit upright in a chair your father bartered from a neighbor.

Your bared legs are chilled, firmly planted on the ground;

your sweatshirted chest rises and falls with each hearty laugh as your stories continue                                                                                                                                                 into the yard

your deepened voice crescendos with each witty run and your old dog sits attentively                                                                           she—waiting for the ear rub; you, for the tail wag.

Your tales are rich and nuanced and swirl like the leaves at our feet.

Your light dances, lifting me up—

I smile in your eyes—your hand squeezes mine, and in a sigh

your friends come to whisk you into the dim.

In the glowing traces of the day,

You come back to me in twilight

To remind me of your victories,

and old stories,

and of whom your heroes were

to make you the man you are.

The dappled light no longer winning, but waning,

And I see a glint in your eyes—your wisdom.

You’re son!

And I will welcome you home, time and again, for you to remind me of motherhood.

Of memory.

We are older.

We still share laughter

in slowing breath.

And your hand envelopes mine, steadying me into our cushioned chairs.

Facing west,

our smiles are shining.

The sound of the train calls from the tracks

as the sun melts into tomorrow.