Wednesday, January 7, 2015

the pine cone, the pebble & the penny

4th in a series of birthday poems to Jack Rigel.  Presented with love.

A pine cone, a pebble and a penny.

These treasures were tucked carefully and deeply 
into the pocket of your coat.
I found them while doing laundry.
Not able to part with them, I puzzled over them, 
smiling to myself as I folded your clothes.
Out of the hundreds of available treasures on your preschool yard, 
these were the prizes you held in safekeeping.

At 4, you are a pine cone, a pebble, and a penny.

You are my little pine cone.
A seedling of a boy.
At certain angles I can see the mighty tree you may become,
yet there are moments when I still see my baby.
You are prickly and complex
wearing the armor of a boy learning to control his emotions
in a world filled with challenges.
So much of who you will become lies hidden
under your spiky little exterior.
But every so often, we see you.
When you protect your brother.
When you marvel at the magic of the stars and the new fallen snow.
When you leap across furniture, lost in your own imagination.
There he is.
Yes, there he is!
There's our boy.

You are my pebble.
An untarnished and unjaded rock of a boy.
You carry within you a wisdom far beyond your handful of years,
yet there is so much you are still discovering.
You glide through life as smoothly and lithely
as a pebble being skipped across a glassy pond
by the skillful hand of a boy on the verge of everything. 
So much of who you will become lies hidden 
among the strata of secrets hiding behind your dark brown eyes. 
But every so often, we see you.
When you rattle off superhero names and secret identities.
When you grab my face in your hands and tell me you love me.
When you wistfully sigh at the end of a wonderful day and proclaim it to be so.
There he is.
Yes there he is!
There's our boy.

You are my lucky penny.
And every day I make wishes for you.
I remember the first time we threw a penny into a fountain.
You were desperate to get it back.
You will learn, what I have learned.
A penny wish, like time, can never be retrieved once it's gone.
All we can hope is that we've used that wish and used our time wisely.
How lucky I am to have carried you, like a lucky penny, for 9 months.
How lucky I am that your soul chose me.
How lucky I feel that we belong to each other.
And like a lucky penny, your worth is far beyond what anyone could possibly see.
I see in you the mighty sequoia and the Grand Canyon
and a life that stretches far into a future
life a javelin I flung into immortality.
It will be years before I toss you into the fountain called life.
And what I'll wish for, I don't yet know.
But when 4 candles are blown out this week,
I will wish...

for you to grow healthy and strong from pine cone to tree
that life doesn't fray your edges too often or too soon
that the worth you place in people and things goes far beyond their face value
for you to always see the world as your treasure box.

I treasure the days when you still fit into my pocket.