With apologies to Davis for bringing back some childhood memories, I was reminded of this poem by the latest round of news featuring the coelacanth.
Lessons for Me
The way he reminds me that the ancient fish
called coelacanth, is not spelled as it sounds,
while we snuggle on the couch
and debate his dream of playing baseball
or discovering a new rock or fish.
How he celebrates in the end zone
by letting the football roll down his fingers
as if he’d always known what to do.
And says he is different from other kids,
but can’t say why, only that he can run fast,
yet doesn’t have a trophy or ribbon to prove it.
The way he sleeps so assuredly on his back,
arms splayed wide, sheets kicked off,
face calmed as if kissed by the sun,
while the ceiling fan blows a breeze through his dreams
and Mickey Mouse nestles against his chin.
How his brown hair sometimes forms a nest
and on school mornings he shyly asks for me to fix it.
But other times, as he sprints down the street,
his strands of hair appear to be
feathers on wings that make him soar.
The way he swings his legs during piano practice,
sticking out his tongue as he attempts
to reach a full octave with his small smooth hands
while playing Carol of the Bells allegretto
because he likes to feel his fingers fly.
How he asks me, What was the best moment in your life,
and despite all that I have come to know,
he quickly interrupts, I know- it’s me, right?
And he tells me, You’re my best thing to happen mommy.
I protest and say, What about hitting a grand slam?
Or doing 45 math problems in a minute?
What about taking on the killer wave in the ocean,
riding boogey boards with cousin Zach?
And he says, But you bought the boogey board, Mommy,
and showed me how to ride.