Five Foot Zero
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,