To a Grandson in My Arms
I can’t play Duck-Duck-Goose anymore,
I tell you–barely five years old,
and feather-light in my arms. I might
try joining you in the family’s game,
but it takes me so long now to stand from sitting
I’d lose every round. Might you like that?
Victory is still all harmless delight
for you, not an urge for arrogant triumph,
not lust for another’s humiliation.
Why can’t you do it, Grandpa? you ask.
I shrug and say, I’m old. Outside
in late March, the hills are still showing snow,
though out the south window while I stand here and hold you,
I behold green hinting itself in the grass,
dun stubble fading, and downhill, pines
flaring with incandescent candles:
spring’s growth. Yes, sweet boy, I’m just too old
for your harmless play, and you can’t see
what I see all over– the sweet and the other.
One day you will, but Lord knows there’s no hurry.
Things make their rounds. So do we all.
by Sydney Lea
Editor’s Note: The delicate metaphor that frames the latter part of this poem beautifully illustrates the movement of life from beginning to end.