Friday, December 12, 2008

A Poem About Growing and Passing Things On


For Pearl in her Fourteenth Month


You have become very industrious
now that you have walking down
to a wobbly science and rooms are organized
according to your constant wanderings,
the mysterious jobs you devise
making bowls and blocks and shoes into toys or tools,
stacking and un-stacking between
giving us all little wet kisses.

Your month is the same as my four years,
so when your mother leaves the room
and you go to the kitchen gate
to whimper or howl in genuine loss I know
those minutes last forever while mine pass
so quickly if I cried it would be because I
can barely hold on like I wish to hold on to you
after you bubble away from me in laughter.

You are so busy!
Tell me stories in your babbling
language until I can learn to transcribe
the dreamt world of a life so new
that the blocks and found toys
you put in your boxes and take out over
and over again, or present to me
with such an earnest gaze

have no choice but to become treasures
so full of your untarnished heart
that they fly up into my throat a yellow bird,
a song, the thread of my mother’s
blue eyes out of your open sweet face.
How can that be? We are not blood
beyond the possibility of the convertible nature
of genes that might suck up and be changed

by love over generations until
they describe me, and me in you, in the music of your voice
without the convention of any official language,
and better than I can describe myself.

5 comments:

Iris Arenson-Fuller said...

This is a magnificent and moving poem. The music and truth of your words have touched me.

Pearl's Mommy said...

My words fail to move like yours, but my tears as I read your poem say it all.

Ruth Z Deming said...

Hi Bob,

I found you thru Coach Iris's blog.

Your poem is wonderful! It's especially difficult, I think, writing a poem about a sweet innocent child w/o becoming maudlin or sentimental.

Your poem succeeded in capturing little Pearl for your audience & rekindling the wonder in all of us who have had the privilege of bearing children and watching them grow.

Thanks for a great poem & a great blog!

Ruth Z Deming

Bob Vance said...

It is gratifying that this pome has moved you all so much. But really... it is Pearl who deserves the acknowledgements. She's such a... well... she's such a pearl!!!

Melissa said...

Your words definitely ring true--I thought of my little one instantly.