365 Poems/83 My Son At Four (Rough First Draft)

My Son At Four

You carefully pass me

your little collection of mushrooms.

They’re sleeping you say.

I hold them, your eyes are wide.

I turn slowly, as if the slightest jolt

might bruise their little white caps,

and stout stems.


You pull flat pebbles

out of your trouser pockets,

and explain they need to be soaked

in water and salt overnight, before

we can paint them with red dragons,

and black runes that spell out your name.


I don’t argue.

You know what you’re doing.

I’m slowly getting a sense

of immense things.


I imagine creatures follow you

in the woods, like you will always

know the right way.


My little born leader,

the landscape blooms,

as if your presence brings about

nothing but good changes,

or maybe it’s because I notice things

on a higher level, now you are here.


Things like my breath.

You tell me that I can let it go,

but then I need to catch it again.


You climb on a chair and your head

is just below my shoulder. You say

I need to get in love with myself,

as we gently cook the mushrooms

in a shallow pool of oil and garlic,

over a small, gentle ring of flames.