March 11, 2015
By Jane Tawel
To Justine, Clarissa, Verity, and Gordon
Whoa, slow down, where you galloping off to?
A second ago, you were a useless collage of limbs.
I had to raise your hands to clean.
I had to raise your head to drink.
I had to ask you questions then answer them for you,
You, without a word, or sound that anybody knew.
Whoa! Take care! You’re running much too fast.
You’re going to slip and fall — I know.
I’ve seen it happen in my mind
A thousand times a day.
Did you hear me? Can you hear?
Have fun! Be safe! Too fast!
Rely on me and all my knowledge present, future, past.
Whoa…slow down… I missed what you just said.
I see the buttons, levers, gears.
My fingers fail where yours speed on.
I hear the words that used to mean
A different thing. A different thing.
Did I already say that?
You tumble forward, catch yourself.
I used to catch you when you fell.
I’m still here watching, waiting– holding out my helpless hands.
You’re gone and I can’t hold you here.
My whoa’s are just my own.
Remember—no, you don’t, I guess.
I clutch the memories, now — no more.
I once held you, my baby, child–
And now you’ve flown,
A Pegasus with wings of dreams
Not flaming myths,
Not lullabies from me.
I’ll sing your story old and new
Not mine, not ours. All you.
I’ll never seek to slow you down again.
My joy in you and your bright flight
Is how I can explain these blinding tears.
Blurring my sight
Of your fast ascent.