by Thomas Davis
I listen to the patterns of his talk,
not words, but how intelligence melds tight
into the rhythm, substance, breathing, walk
of who he is, our precious son, the light
we want to hold so awfully hard and tight
his brightness will survive for years and years.
But now his voice is weak. We face a plight
no parent wants, but every parent fears.
We sit beside his bed and hold back tears
and wonder why intelligence is not
enough, acknowledgement by all his peers,
his friendships, days of happiness are not
enough, not while I listen for his thoughts
expressed as rhythms in his too-soft talk.
Our girls, when young, while we were driving, clapped
their hands and sang a rhythm song, their voices
so beautiful we felt as if they’d wrapped
the two of us into a world where choices
flowed like a shining river to the sea,
our lives a rhythm graced by daughters’ song.
We had our cares, but we were really free
of troubles that can make life seem so wrong.
Now here, today, I hear my daughters clapping,
hands flying from their sides up to their palms,
and listen to our heartbeats snapping, snapping
across the years to help our hearts stay calm.
Inside this turbulence I’d love to see
our daughters like they are inside my memory.