(I wrote this sonnet after my son had graduated from high school and headed off to college in another state.)
That last, fleet summer, they thumped down stairs
my son and his large friends, hale, merry, loud
about to leave home, disperse the cloud
of habits and rules, cautionary airs
eager to take on new scenes, fresh cares.
They moved as one, that jostling, joking crowd
electric as race horses, and as proud
cocky, charming peddlers, themselves for wares.
Sidelined, I stood unobserved on their beach
wanting to implore but keeping my place
longing to take the hand of each and each
draw them a moment from bright ocean’s brace
entreat someone: let them loiter in reach
let me wrap him dry once more, touch his face.
“Isthmus” was published in the journal Third Wednesday, Ypsilanti, MI, 2009.