A poem for my grandson


I pray for all of us to be all that we can be and know all that we can know.

I pray for the nurturing of little beings, the sound of little voices,
for the miracle of new life,
the intelligence that speaks through his eyes with
a clear bright light shining,
recalling sweetness and radiance beamed
out into the universe.

The face that moves boldly toward the camera and
presses against the lens
reveals a thirst for understanding and
a hunger to taste the red plum of wisdom.

I pray for the cherub in the blue doggie shirt,
lips pink and perfect,
nestled in the arms of my lavender sweater,
avidly following the words of the picture book,
as he whispers, “Grammy.”

I see the imp in the bathtub,
his hair clings damply to his face.
He smiles up into my eyes,
presses the wet washcloth against his chest with both hands and says,
“This is my shirt.”
The words come easily as
the gift of language blesses him.

He sits by the Lebanese kitchen with the red door,
Great Grandpa behind him, arm resting on the stroller,
four generations of life linked by bloodlines and
a certain steely glint.
Courage plays upon the older man’s lips,
disease dulls his murky vision, memory serves him better.

They both smile.

The older man’s smile is wistful,
not knowing what will be
when the next leaves turn to rust or
the squirrels hide their acorns under the oak tree.
He murmurs, “God is dead,”–that very God that took his wife
yet not believing those words,
even as they spring from his throat, he prays.

The child’s smile is strangely fragile,
as if he has not yet secured a place here.
His world is tenuous,
filled with longing and
a reliance for safety upon the goodness of his people.