NOW YOU ARE FOUR
Each morning, as the fog subsides,
turned to the wall, hiding my eyes, I lie,
as sharp echoes climb to find my mind
– but now I’m deaf as well as blind.
My heavy head can hold you then –
you two – and through each breath I send
my love, my hope your day ahead
will be woven with a golden thread
of security, and love, and joy;
adventure for my girl, my boy.
I think of brightness in your eyes,
the wonder there that’s written wide,
and all you have that’s yet to come,
because you’re still so very young.
And for the one who keeps you safe,
who holds you both with one embrace
– eyes edged with sleep and troubled face:
a shadow of a frown in place –
I pray today she can be strong,
and see past everything that’s wrong,
to find the tide of love that hides
inside and pour with heart held wide
unbounded love to fill you up,
and overflow your brimming cups –
to give all that she has to give
while keeping what she needs to live:
some small measure of perfect peace,
that she might find her own release.
Then through my day of doors and gates,
I drift with time as memories wait
to ambush while I’m off my guard,
like starlings swooping in the yard.
A scent, a sight, a simple phrase,
reminds me of an upturned gaze;
the calls of rooks, the smell of books,
are there for me like baited hooks.
But on my bunk, when day is done,
I pray your rest has long since come,
and send my love beyond my reach
to plant a kiss on each cool cheek
– and wonder as I’m drifting, then,
if you’ll be in my dreams again.