Friday, January 11, 2013

Little Man



Little Man

I will not know your children; 
And even if that may not be so
they will not know me
As I run to you,
holding your hand
walking beside you with the camera
we bought for you on my birthday.
They will not know how content
when I rub your head and back,
Mr. video child who colors in the lines
as calm as a baby bird,
patient and prepared
with intensity that wraps around resilience.

I told your mother
I could not love her children 
as much as I loved her;
then, I couldn’t imagine anyone able to stretch love
beyond that loyal vast place. 
I was right but also wrong
because the lives I will lie down for--
your father and brothers too--
I would not equivocate, 
my clear decision so all of you
may all hold steady.

In the kitchen 
just before we reached the table
you came quickly, and wrapped your arms around my legs 
from nowhere, and we acknowledged. 
I will remember that moment that cannot be altered, 
our affirmation to the last breath.

I tell you I love you
and you tell me you know. 
I tell you it’s okay
and you tell me no:
you should have known the ornament was glass,
you say, not the wood you expected when you bit into it.
I tell you six years is not long enough
to know all that 
but I stop from adding that even sixty years
is sometimes not long enough.
Even Adam bit the wrong apple 
And even your Grandmother's lost a gamble.

I can’t protect you, little man.
But I will be your audience forever 
and I will applaud every achievement,
every misstep, every mistake.
I will hold you in my arms even when 
embrace is at a distance.
It means everything to come first sometimes
and I and your family will show you that.
You are six years old today; 
You, a poet, a gamer, a Patriot, a colorer, 
a child who will watch me age,
understanding how easily I bend 
to love all that you love too. 

Happy Birthday Ryan,
love Gram

28 comments:

  1. Lovely.
    Nothing more can I add.

    XXOO~~
    Anne

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  2. OMG I have choking tears here on this side of the world. I know your daughter will keep this for Ryan forever and he will cherish these words, long after you and I are dust.
    Happy bday Ryan, and lotsa love.

    (Thanks for your kind words kj, my bro had a suspected heart attack and spot on his lung, but all is fine- but things are not fine between me and my sister in law, as she didn't inform me that he was in hospital- I feel upset and sad, as he is all I have left of our generation! People can be so mean and heartless, jealous and selfish!)

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    Replies
    1. A love wide and deep, we know, don't we know, joss?

      About your brother: maybe talk to him directly. Let him know what you hope for and he can tell his wife how he wants things handled...

      Love
      kj

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  3. Love is so powerful. And Ryan will know yours for now and always. Happy birthday, Ryan! xoxo

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  4. So powerful it displaces everything else, as it should

    Thanks, Pam

    Love
    kj

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  5. how is it that we are so (it seems) arbitrarily cast in other generations from these souls that are so close to us? i mean, i understand the linear necessity of it but...

    just home from a movie with my son. we sang on the way, shot the shit on the way back, cuddled in the theatre. he is one of my dearest friends and one of my greatest teachers. numbers make no sense, and so when you say you will not know your grandson's children, my god, it ruptures me. we're all just kids on this journey)))

    xo
    erin

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  6. Erin, jeez, I think about this too. It seems unfair, unreasonable. It seems contrary to love, to have limits press against in any way. We plant seeds. When we're lucky we see the growth with our own eyes.

    Time is linear, but then it isn't. You are close to my daughter's age. I can't bear the thought that when she is an old woman I will not be able to help her.

    Yes, we're all kids. We love like there's no tomorrow. And maybe there isn't....

    Great to see you here, Erin

    Love
    kj

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  7. being his audience is i am sure what he needs....if nothing else....children need our attention and too often they are passed over it with passing glances from us...beautiful poem...smiles.

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    1. I know it's important to be present and with children it's triple important, right Brian?

      Love
      kj

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  8. oh, my, kj, this is the best! My grandson will be six in March and I know just how you feel, but could not express it as well. Thank you so much for this gift...xx

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    1. Jumping up and down! Marion!! Hello xo!!!

      We share a lot, you and I, certainly including all this love

      Love
      your pal
      kj

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  9. awwww....so so sweet and wonderful and lovely

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  10. You know how much I love Ryan, right? And Bri too.

    Happy birthday little man ,big guy!

    Hammerhead Lincoln will remain in our hearts always!

    xoxo
    Lo and Bri♥

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    Replies
    1. I saw him yesterday lo, and we gleefully colored. We bought him an art case for his birthday and a side dish of fragranced markers. He told me drew said he liked bb more than me.

      What?? I gasped

      What did you tell him Ryan?

      I told him he shouldn't say that

      But Ryan, did you tell drewbie that you like me more than bb?

      He grins. Noooooooo he says

      I love it all

      Love
      kj

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  11. Hope you had great birthday kid, you got a great ol' granny there.

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    Replies
    1. Aw mark,you do my soul so good

      Love always
      kj

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  12. Gosh aren't there so many ways to say "I love you" and here's another lovely lovely poem that starts and ends within the heart of it all. Reminds me so much in tone and lyricism (is that even a word) to Dar Williams "You'll Be The One Who Knows". Our hearts ... well they just expand don't they? There is a particular bond between grandparents and grandchildren that is special and deep. It's less complicated but that's not all. I think we get to an age where we understand more and so love with more awareness ... with more acceptance that it is THIS that matters. Much love to you KJ. Always. xx Jos

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  13. Jos, ♥ we both know how family matters . Thinking of you and wishing a circle of love around you and your mother and sister and all who love in this way

    Love always
    kj

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  14. So beautiful, kj!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Blessings and girl hugs to you, rob :-)

      Are you waking up?

      xoxo
      kj

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  15. This so beautiful and it makes me sad, and happy, and sad, and happy. Ryan is so lucky to have you as his Gram. I hope he had a super-duper birthday.
    xoxoxo

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    1. Thank you my twinkly twin. It is an honor to be grandmother to mr Ryan and his brothers. I didn't know that until it was just so obvious

      Love
      kj

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  16. Ahhh what a beautiful story.......... :)
    Such a sweet kid. What a gift they are
    ♥M

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marianne, welcome home!

      Love
      kj

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  17. Darn, I am crying. You did it. You found that common sweet spot that we all have for our grands. So sweet. So unforgettable. This tribute is amazing (like you).

    Love, love, love, love,

    Sharon

    I too thought that there was no way I could ever love someone the way I love Noah, but the amazing ability of the heart to throw wide its doors...

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  18. Sharon, I like to think someday when Ryan is a man and my Jessica is a grandmother they will both know what you and I already know.

    Love grows.

    Like friendship ♥

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