As I sort through the blue folder of writing I’ve never done anything with, I find poems I almost (but not quite) forgot I wrote. This one, from nearly 30 years ago. It is almost prophetic, as poetry can be when you pay attention.
For My Son, Turning Twelve
You woke at six, wondering
what gifts waited
on the trunk
at the foot of our bed.
I could hear you, in and out
of my sleep,
hoping for quiet until ten to seven
when you knew you could come upstairs
with your brother and sister,
as we sang you safely into your birthday.
A new jacket, books, a twenty tucked into a card,
such excitement as you opened each package,
found the small leather box
two silver coins of Alexander the Great
from a friend over the water.
At twelve, the Boy Kings were married,
their horses splendid, their colours
off the mountains where the enemy rode from,
and hooded falcons on a field of watered silk.
You were among them on the white horse,
plumed and glorious.
Today you wore the look of one
at the threshold of a shadowy door,
ready to enter unsung
regardless of what danger might wait,
Note: this isn’t quite formatted correctly. Every time I configure it with the lines and spaces as they should be, they somehow default to every line beginning at the left margin. So be it, for now.