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Five Foot Zero

Five Foot Zero

(from Brainstorms)

I remember when he was small

and I used to shoot love into his heart.

“Pshew! Pshew! Pshew!”

I smiled and he laughed

while my index finger gently poked his chest.

He was scared, and I told him

that his name meant “brave.”

“What does brave mean, Mama?”

“Brave means being strong

when you are scared.”

I put a dream catcher in his window

never knowing the faces of the monsters

that haunted his dreams.

He held a Mickey Mouse light saber

to help him fight his battles of the night

with glowing rainbow light.

And now I see in him the boy he was

and the man he is becoming,

equal parts of each grappling for territory

within his expanding frame.

At five foot zero, he fills the bed

as he stretches from corner to corner.

No longer voicing his fears,

my gentle warrior navigates his world

with dignity and compassion.

I stand in the doorway and watch him sleep.

In my mind, I trace a heart over his chest

and take up my anointed arrow

to send a bolt of love across the room.

It lands right on target.

I wrote this poem almost ten years ago about my then ten-year-old son. I've been feeling nostalgic lately and this poem reminds me of why I write in the first place: to savor the everyday moments for they are both timeless and fleeting.

With love and appreciation for the extraordinary ordinary,


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