Mothers of Boys


The strength and measure of the bond
Begins with the firm clench of your fist around my finger,
The exchange where love and power are shared and transferred.
Reinforced as you reach up for a hug
or down to carry a load you know full well I can carry myself.

But soon your grip loosens,
Your gaze drifts above and beyond me,
As the yearning for that beautiful recklessness
envelops your soul.

l know I have to free you to conquer those mountains,
those places, real and imagined,
where my hands can't reach out to protect.

I watch you join your friends on the front walkway
until, for just a moment, you turn and smile back at me.
But then you go
into the car, onto the playing field,
Up to the rock wall that looms high above the water
Where the life you long for waits.

My center lost, I try to distract myself from the moving clock,
often succeeding, but never completely
Because in the end my head always races with dizzying relief
At the sound of tires on gravel,
The soft click of the lock
That signals, "Mom, I'm home."

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