Monday, December 23, 2013

Little Man

Most people's hearts live in their chests
and beat beneath their ribcage like the wings of birds.
Like windmills making sunshine, they keep forget-me-nots growing
create just enough heart-space
to keep the world turning.

But my heart has never known the feel of feathers.
Its windmills run on moonbeams that provide light to the stars.
My heart starts on the inside, grows out to my skin,
and beats like a time-bomb, tick-tick-ticking 
from the outside in.

Opened to the world with a hole to my center
my heart is a wishing well: drop in a penny
I'll give you a quarter-full of hope and a dime of praise,
but some hearts house sheets, big as the night,
that threaten the spark of 2-year-old boys
and those hearts house wishing wells
that my quarters and dimes can't begin to fill up.
Their outstretched hands let love drop through their fingers
and we watch as the coins I hand them
become litter on the ground.

But the darker the night
the brighter the light beneath that sheet
and some days I'm a wishing well,
but some days I'm a star,
and I want you to know:
I'm fighting for you, Little Guy.
I'm one light in the darkness
pouring some love out into this world
while picturing your face.
I'm allowing my hope to course from the inside out
pulsating on fear and hard decisions;
I'm fighting for you, Little Man.
I'm wishing on wishing wells
'cause even with dreams and education
degrees and good intentions,
when the wound is this deep
it's impossible to patch up the bleed.

I slipped love like pennies in your pockets
held your face between my hands
and looked in your eyes, hoping my gaze could save you.
I tied your shoes as if tying hope to your person could give you wings to fly away and
snapped the belts on your stroller
as if fastening prayers to the lips of your god.

And then I let you go with a grandmother whose heart read
"closed for repairs."
And then I let you go to a mother with cacti in her wishing well heart
and a hand that pushes away my offerings.

But I've got your pennies, Little Guy.
I'm holding on to your wishes and dreams.
I've housed them with your forget-me-nots that I'll water
to ensure they keep growing
'cause I swear
with every centimeter of my too big heart
that you, Little Man, are priceless,
and I've seen your spark, you--
you're smart, Little Man,
I see it in your round, brown eyes,
the way you curled your body around mine
and wouldn't let go.
Your potential
is big as the moon, and I can't promise
that this dark time is just an eclipse,
but I'm wishing
on every penny I have left to give
that by the time you turn three
you'll be able

to live.