Today is my son Drew's birthday. To honor the occasion, I decided to post a poem I wrote for him when he turned 22. The poem is in the "Remember" section of Neruda's Memoirs: Poems (T.S. Poetry Press, 2011). Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!
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, tough 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.
© Maureen E. Doallas