Almost Eight

I stopped at the top of the stairs
to wait for him
as he shuffled out of his bedroom,
sleepy-eyed and not yet steady.

He took the old walnut railing
with his left hand
as we walked next to each other
towards breakfast and the day.

His right hand reached into mine,
gentle and soft,
warm from his blanketed slumber.

He’s almost eight years old, I thought,

in fear of the day
when he won’t slip so easily
into sharing his space
or his hand
with me.

I tried to tread carefully as we went
so as not to disturb our clasp,
wishing the stairs might go on forever,
a father and his boy.


27 thoughts on “Almost Eight

  1. Pingback: Almost Nine | bussokuseki

  2. Pingback: Five | bussokuseki

    1. bussokuseki Post author

      Thanks so much, Carla. I think we all write for ourselves first…but then, as poets, isn’t that what we all want, to create a real and lasting image? Thank you, as always, for your visit and thoughtful comment. Be well~

  3. Matthew

    Wow. Another perfect moment, perfectly rendered. All that fatherhood is: warmth, happiness, sadness, transience … captured in 21 simple, crystallized lines.

    1. bussokuseki Post author

      It’s funny you should say that. I was writing this for a while, and kept having the urge to include more, make the poem longer, and then kept pulling it back, pulling it back. It’s a struggle I have all the time writing, and I’m realizing as I read your comment how close the analogy is to fatherhood – don’t add too much, it is perfect as it is… Thanks Matthew, as always, for reading and for the thoughtful comment.

      1. Matthew

        “Don’t add too much” should probably become my parenting mantra. Piling stuff on top of stuff. I’m very skilled at that, unfortunately. Daily struggle.

    1. bussokuseki Post author

      Why, thank you. It’s hard to believe, even as I write it, that he has grown up up so much… Thanks for reading and commenting, and be well~

    1. bussokuseki Post author

      Thanks so much, CJ. I am so happy that you found something meaningful in the words. It amazes me each one of these moments how it can be so joyful and almost heartbreaking at the same time… Be well~


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