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.