Boat by Hiram Larew


You see
I don’t care if his hair
Is combed bad
He is my son
I love every shoestring of him
Every bit that he thinks he knows
Fifteen years
I don’t care what he becomes
Because he’ll become something
Look at him
He’ll become more than those red ears
Or grinning legs
He’ll become even more important than midnight

More and more I hold him by his shoulder
Less and less
And when I do it’s as if
He can’t be here forever
I think I’ll get him a boat to carry
And then watch him like the minute that just went by

In the long run
Nothing I do will matter
I know that
But look at him
Especially when he’s reaching for something
There must be a whole other world
Out there somewhere
That’s missing him.

by Hiram Larew, first published in Wisconsin River Valley Journal

Hiram on Facebook

Editor’s Note: This poem is a perfect example of how something that seems completely simple really isn’t at all. Repetition, imagery, metaphor/simile, varying line lengths, enjambment, allegory, etc. all add up to tell the reader how crazy it is to be a parent.


6 responses to “Boat by Hiram Larew”

  1. Robert Bradshaw Avatar
    Robert Bradshaw

    So beautifully said!

  2. 2mybox Avatar

    “Every shoestring of him” is a nice phrase in a nice poem.

  3. EDWARD MYCUE Avatar

    Home truths spun from the careful heart is something beyond the moon where Hiram Larew pillows his dreams in clarityl

  4. Dana Larkin Sauers Avatar
    Dana Larkin Sauers

    Really appreciated this now when I cannot see my adult kids because of COVID.

  5. heyannis Avatar

    “There must be a whole other world
    Out there somewhere
    That’s missing him.”

    I love this expression of his value, his gifts, to the world.

  6. amycorlew Avatar

    The willingness to just let “becoming” be.
    Shoestring… loved this line!

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