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,
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 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