By John McLarty

I loved you last night on the freeway,

flying past on your motorcycle

at ninety miles an hour.

For just a minute I was young again.

The fire of youth blazed in my bones,

the immortality, sureness,

the wild, delicious hunger.

And I loved you for reminding me.


I loved you yesterday in Walmart,

pushing grandma around in her wheelchair,

the chair bigger than you,

but way smaller than your smile.

And grandma’s smile even richer than yours

happy to be out,

proud for the world to see the quality of her girl.

I did not know whose happiness to envy more,

remembering my own distant days of pushing grandma

and my future days of being pushed.

But I loved you both.


I love you even now

when I call to mind the way your kids depend on you.

The way they call you when they need advice.

The way they depend on you to take care of Mom

The way they manage their lives a bit more easily

because Dad is there,

at the home with Mom literally

and at home with them in a hidden sense.

And they cannot know the richness of the affection

the largeness of the worry

they stir in you.

But I do.

And I love you.


I watched you last week with the grandbaby,

reading her stories,

laughing together.

I watched her little hands on you

and imagined the softness of your arms

and the sweetness of her fingers

and the fire that played between them.

I saw the sureness of her life in your presence,

your overflowing adoration and solicitude

and delight,

and I loved you.


And I was glad that I was old.

I was glad I lived long enough

to see all this,

to understand a bit of it,

and be engulfed in wonder

and affection.


John McLarty is a poet, trail runner, prophet, farmer, owner/driver at Talking Rocks Outdoor Company, and friend of Steve Moran. You can find more of his writing here.