morning routine, 2015.

Photo, Giorgio Trovato
A grown child, daydreaming still,
   buckles his children into the backseat.
He always wanted children, but
   he could only imagine
   generic children, 
   embodied joy for his wife, 
   a practical, loving, patient, 
   future-focused soul. 

The car is loaded, children & backpacks,
   driver & briefcase. They sing & poke,
   squeal & complain, erupt in a 
   laughter, an intimacy with 
   an expiration date. A timeline
   that he alone knows.

He's nostalgic for now even now.

The grown child, new to selflessness,
   (signal on, hands at ten & two)
   imagines a future where they're grown,
   where they are burdened like him with
       all they are,
       all they've chosen,
       all they dream.
And he, the future-he, now old, is 
   elsewhere, a phone call 
   forgotten another day. Maybe 
   tomorrow, the future-they think. 

For now, he parks the car, 
   he unfastens the belts,
   he kisses their fragrant heads
   good morning
   as they leave.

The day is long & bright
   and calls them to now,
   to learn, to play. 

[After Ruth Moose's The Crossing] 

12 responses to “morning routine, 2015.”

  1. Oh my gosh, chills. There are too many beautiful lines here, stay-with-me moments, but this one: “He’s nostalgic for now even now.” I am so very glad I read this today, Joel. Thanks. (I’m thinking some son-grown writing is on the horizon, “And [s]he, the future [s]he, now old…” Also appreciate finding Ruth Moose for the first time.)


  2. I was soft smiles and teary eyes while reading this poem. Incredible. “This child new to selflessness…” and intimacy with an expiration date.” and “kisses their fragrant heads” – WOW! I will visit again and again. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing.


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