Grandson’s Gift

He flings himself into the grass,
eyebrows knit. I am so

sad. As his emotion moves me
I feel it, I say.  He glares,

It’s mine. You don’t feel it!
entering outrage and I

wake from my tight self-
containment. So many years

trying to remain inconspicuous
in the flood, building dams

and walls–so high–I’m still
tethered to the scene

of the crime. He clearly
doesn’t need my empathy, just

this empowered opening to dance
with the colors of his aliveness.

Watched now by all the obstinate
children in my lineage punished

for our own spirited being.
And just like that, he’s through

the spectrum and laughing with sheer
joy that heart sight yields in the

unobstructed waves of the truly free.
I’m pulled out of these old bones,

wrinkled skin plumping in this new
ringing space of love’s connection.

Inspired by: Inconspicuous, Wake, Knit and Obstinate.

Pay It Forward

He was high on sugar, confused

when met with Mommy’s rules

applied like the law of gravity

after an anything-goes weekend.

He threw himself so passionately

on the floor, wailing and kicking,

a powerhouse of emotion.

That would have earned me a spanking

when I was a child, but those days are

long ago: as a caring mother,

I gave him notes. I invited his brothers

to stand in the spotlight in turn,

praising particular moments of creative

genius in channeling. Of course, I over-exaggerated

my own, aiming for the comic relief.

Once around the circle, I invited him

to give a repeat performance,

but robbed of shock and awe,

he declined, a bit miffed

that we had transformed a power

grab into an acting workshop.

I thought I was so wise, then.

My aim was to let him know

he was safe, that I could hold

this container and he could release

the need to steer the boat.

Perhaps, though, I was too cavalier,

disrespectful of emotional upheaval

and the need to name and acknowledge

what was erupting in him.

A grandmother now, as a sugared grandson

who didn’t get his nap

throws soil all around the room,

I am standing

in a different place of empowerment,

sorry that I wasn’t the perfect

mother, and staying in the question:

how can I show compassion here?

What can I learn from this experience?

And can I hold a big enough space

to finally throw

a little tantrum of my own?

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: tantrum