we barrel down the little avenue we live on ;; across the old stoney bridge ; across the canal ; the walk is just two blocks but today it feels like an eternity // the golden 8 a.m. morning light splashes through the still-summer trees // we trip along together at a clip ; being positive ; being brave, the both of us ;; I turn my face every time it scrunches up into tears and try to hollow my voice anytime it sounds shaky or gravely ;; I tell him he’s going to have so much fun. You lurch when I let go of your hand to take a picture; holding it out desperately; like a prayer for me to clasp back on. Suddenly, the big yellow cat of a bus pounces next to us on the sidewalk ;; the moment is brisk : the line is filing : the older children are ready. You are the last one on;; your eyes filled with a mixture of awe, excitement, sheer terror and absolute love. You hold on to my index finger until the last possible moment ;; until you’re almost ascending the second bus step; you climb; hurdle; tumble over yourself with the weight of your backpack // you walk halfway down the rows of bus seats until the red-haired mop of a fellow kindergartener in the front calls at you to ask you to sit with him ;; i watch you turn around and hurry towards the front ;; the bus lurches forward like a monster and peels away into the golden morning light; instantaneously; [it happens in about 45 seconds] and my heart is broken at the fault line / I can’t stand the feeling of without you. I pedal around the house / I feel the absence of you everywhere // I have loved all the endless arrays of 45 seconds laid on top of one another that I have gotten to share with you // I have loved the moments that have brought us to this day // I have loved the last 5 years / I try not to cry in front of the other parents / I try not to cry all day / I know you will be okay. I am so grateful that I get to be your mom.
The summer escaped through my fingertips like honey-ed sunflower-seed wine // your little hair gets filled with light — gets filled with knots — and all the afternoons I got to roll dice with you and move trolls across board game boards are worth more to me than anything else I could ever accomplish. I need nothing else. Nothing else makes as much sense as spending time with you. Thanks for the last 5 years.