Monday, August 2, 2010

Twenty-two (Poem)

Twenty-two
    for ddb

Twenty-two's no famous route number,
no too-broad sticky-surfaced strip of tar

tamed with double solid lines down the middle.
Your road, though not unshouldered, takes you

another year to reach and I want to ask
how does it wind uphill all the way

away from me. On a single-digit day
this day one August past, who else but I

decried more loudly your coming of age
decreed with inks and etching pen?

The threshold of your arrival not to be
put off, you hopped your long board

on some corner in the Village where I, in rain,
watched your muscled, thinned-down frame

— shirtless, so the wind couldn't hold you back —
get lost among wheeling orange cabs and hawkers

of ripped-off Chanel bags, and took in a single look
back in the always-turned-on, never-sleeping city

framing fascination in your eyes. Tomorrow
I'll stand holding open the door to the street,

keeping an eye out, and like an old love come back
to haunt you, feel my heart growing and growing still.

© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.
____________________________________________

I wrote this poem for my son to mark his 22nd birthday today. Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

As it happens, this poem also contains the prompt for Carry on Tuesday, which each week provides a famous quotation or the opening lines of a book, song, or poem that participants are to use wholly or partly in an original poem or prose piece.

The prompt for Tuesday, August 3, comes from the opening line of Christina Georgina Rossetti's poem "Uphill": Does the road wind uphill all the way? The complete poem is here.

To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for Prompt #64, go here.


16 comments:

jenne said...

So much tenderness and strength here, Maureen. I associate these qualities with you in particular. Your son has a wonderful mother....xxxj

Ann Tracy said...

That's a wonderful poem for your son...

Kathleen Overby said...

I'm dreading the 'away from me' part for our girls. Drew-I love your tatts. :) Yes, I stalked pics. Happy Birthday.

S. Etole said...

A celebratory day for your son ... and a heartfelt tribute.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Happy Birthday to your twenty-two year old!

And happy birthday to his mother -- because of you, he is the man he is today. How lovely!

L.L. Barkat said...

"and like an old love come back
to haunt you"

I really liked that.

Stan Ski said...

Great post - happy birthday to your son.

n. davis rosback said...

woohoo! twenty-too. oh yeah.

Monica Sharman said...

"— shirtless, so the wind couldn't hold you back —"
That was just great.
Wonderful poem, Maureen. You put a lump in my throat; I guess another decade and I'll be right there, too.

sarah said...

happy birthday to your son!!

Laura said...

Maureen. This makes me cry. The son-mom in me just can't bear some of these images--and that door held open as if I'm letting out the cat.

Your words always spark such emotion. Beautiful, as always.

drw@bainbridge.net said...

So moving, Maureen - "feel my heart growing and growing still" is every mother's astonished cry when, seeing the child become a man, she still can love so intensely as if he were still a babe in arms; that that instant of bonding when you first hold the child gets repeated and ripples through the pond of being...

Brian Miller said...

oh you are most definitely welcome at oneshot...a wonderful tribute. i have 2 boys of my own...though much younger but this day will come...smiles.

moondustwriter said...

I concur with Brian - We love having you here at One Shot - Maureen.
I will be in your shoes a year from now. I guess I have a year to write the poem of a lifetime.
Thanks for inspiring me to get started.

Love from the Moon

Jingle said...

passionate poem for your 22 year old son.

from carry on Tuesday!

Linda said...

I have two grown sons. This is so touching - so true.