Son Poem

A mother writes about a visit to her son who has become a man. This poem is filled with images and sensory verbiage of love and fun.

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A Kiss Over The Railing


Published: February 2006

He appears at the curbside before the taxi door is closed
The pretty child of yesterday is chiseled into manhood
Painfully thin
She chides him for not carrying my bags in, but he opened all the doors for me
The perfect host gives me a tour
His dresser top is covered with photos- like the mantle at home
He shows me the 'Good-bye' poem I wrote him
It's late
He takes the couch
I get his bed
The fitted sheets don't stay
It's too hot
If I don't hear trucks I hear the roar of the air compressor in the alley outside the screenless window
Her cat is in the plastic bag of filet leftovers
There's noise but no draft

But what a visit!
Walks the shoreline, the endless skyline hugging the boats docked in the lake, water taxis waiting to take you to your boat
A candy apple, the almost ferris wheel ride

The Shedd aquarium, science museum, the awesome steel-girded dome of the North Pier building
We eat at elegant Carmine's, Dick's fabulous brunch, and Gino's, decorated with autographs
We take a river boat architecture tour of the buildings
Stone gothic surviving the Fire
Glass streamlined
The red one catches my eye
Colorful old flats, townhouses, elegant new condos
Downtown streets landscaped with two-ton pots of color
Neo-classical remnants from the 1893 exposition defy their intended brief stay-built of plaster, straw and fiber
Replaced with stone 20 years later
Drizzle doesn't stop us
We sit atop a shoeshine stand waiting
Give a dollar to the subway minstrel
Carry the smell of pizza to everyone on the El
I treat
He treats
He's an extravagant tipper

I tell him about the TV show the 'Millionaire'
He hears 'Catch a Falling Star,' a song I sang long ago

Joy so deep it hurts.
Do I say something or not?
I must-love should not be contained
We talk
His dreams, his worries, his regrets
But he's happy
He buys me souvenirs-4 of them
He buys himself a pen
I rub his back when he leans forward
The urge is to cradle him close on my lap.
'Wake me up when you're ready,' he offers
5:15 am and I have to catch a plane home
I embrace and rock him
'Don't cry, Mom'
The cat sneaks out as I leave and he has to get up
We pass in the stairwell-I'm quick now and business like
But he leans over the railing-cat in his arms-'Bye, Mom' with a kiss
A taxi is there before he gets to the window to wave
I look up
He gets to the window but I'm gone.



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