THE RIVER II

 

It feels like the morning sun

Peeking up over the eastern hills

After wet and windy darkness

He walks into the house

“Hello…”

Echoes

I smile

At what he does not know

Is it is the same “Hello”

Of years and years ago

Walking out of the bedroom

At Nani’s

Young wide eyes

Pajamas

Small hands holding onto the railing

Looking down at the kitchen

“Hello…”

Echoes

And now the other…

Diapers in the doorway

“Papa, where are you going?”

I am going to walk the dogs

[Long pause]

“Can I come with you?”

We both slide forward through years and years

He is coughing badly

On our way to school

He holds the pill up to the morning light

“Dad, what is this?

Are you sure this is appropriate for someone my age?”

[Long pause]

“It is a mild hallucinogenic – you will be fine”

Eyes shine with the big smile

Later

We speak

The three of us

Have begun speaking

About things

Happenings

I have really never told anybody

They lean forward in silence

Across the dining room table

Across oceans

Across time

Listening

Their fingers absently worry

Cones from the Giant Sugar Pine

Watching their hands

Feels like a river

It has always felt like a river

There to carry everything away

That is the way it is supposed to be

Burden free

Let everything go

Downstream

Everything

But the song

Roaring in the ears

Vibrating within the soul

Shaking the very being

And the song is love

Anyway,

That is the way it is for me

He looks at me across the table

“You know how you like to collect…?

When I get older I am going to collect hats…

I love hats…”

The seed was planted

It had to be a Stetson

“On your birthday

I consider it a distinct honor

And, privilege

To present you with,

The Legendary Stetson Whippet Soft Fur Felt Fedora,

Happy Birthday Sunshine”

Eyes shine with the big smile

Smiling

As I write these words

I am smiling

At the other, entering my hallowed sanctuary

At 5:30AM

Mac book held out in front of him

My fingers pause

Videos I need to see, and…

“By the way,

I want you to know I have a Christmas list”

Really…!

Feels like a river

It has always felt like a river

And the river is love

Anyway

That is the way it is for me