with us, as I pull into the grocery store
parking lot. You’ve got a library book
in your lap, and he emerges from the realm
of what you didn’t know before.
Wow, Mom, look!
I can’t find ingredients for supper
and with those pages in front of your face
you keep bumping into the cart.
But you’re making this moment
incredible, stupendous, mystifying
and I can’t bring myself to tell you,
watch where you’re going.
I can’t argue when you announce
in the check out aisle you’ll be
a magician when you grow up.
Because you already are—
You’ve made a decade disappear
like a rainbow of scarves stuffed
into a hat. Ta-daa!
A dove flies out and we
never see him again.
Shortly after your birth, one night I woke up
and wandered through the house, window
to window, searching for the baby
of my womb—until I remembered you
had already been born. I returned
to bed and found a creature breathing,
conjuring life out of hazy autumn air.
Three years later, on vacation to Chicago, I leashed
your wrist to mine, but somehow you wriggled loose
and were out of your seat. Up on stage, before
I could grab you, there you were
at the children’s theater, bowing
with the other performers.
And now Ladies and Gentlemen,
in front of our very eyes, this boy’s face
becomes a young man’s. I watch his jaw
lengthen and set. His eyes reach past me
to a place of his own determination,
where my own hands are tied,
my purpose over, having introduced
this death-defying escape artist
to the world.
Ramona McCallum writes and raises six kids in windy Garden City with husband Brian, ceramic sculptor/art teacher. Ramona’s first collection of poetry, Still Life with Dirty Dishes, is forthcoming from Woodley Press