This is why you were born, to pass me by,
DNA of our ancestors, it’s your turn to fly,
to be the center, the triumph, the culmination.
Though not quite zero at bone and marrow, you ~
are a merry new story, adhering to Conrad’s dictum,
with shocks and surprises in every line and chapter.
Your book, your life, your metaphor, wearing truth
as your dermis, seeking tears, not blood, and
like all good art you changed me for the better,
having read you, I’ll never be the same. So time,
My Heart, time now to fly, to leave this nest,
the generations on which you stand, this is why
you were born, now it’s your turn to fly …
Note: Conrad’s dictum is that the writer’s first responsibility is to help the reader see.
The great American novelist and educator, Toni Morrison, once wrote that it is the job of parents to provide their children both safe harbor and wings. This poem was written some time ago to convince myself, not my son. He did what son’s naturally do.
Time has seen our roles reverse in some ways. My son has the most generous heart and has had my back for thirteen years, ushering me to my pulmonologist/critical care specialist and through sundry procedures and surgeries (always my advocate), moving me to new digs each time I have to downsize, taking me home with him when I couldn’t be left alone, keeping me in computers and tech toys. Yet, our children are our children. As Naomi said yesterday in Part I, “. . . long after they’ve gone gray, long after they are elderly orphans…they will still be our babies. “
From my vantage point as my mother’s daughter and my son’s mother, I’ve learned that making family is just another kind of love story, one in which love is not circumscribed. As we pass this love along to succeeding generations, it grows in depth and breadth. We are better people for it and the whole world becomes a better place. In the end, even mom’s are given wings and the nest in never truly empty when love remains to fill in the spaces.
– Jamie Dedes
© 2013, poem, essay, and photos below, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Seagull and Chicks by George Hodan, Public Domain Photographs.net; portait and family photos below are under copyright as well. Please be respectful.
JAMIE DEDES is a poet and the founder of Into the Bardo. She is a former freelance feature writer and columnist whose topic specialties were employment, vocational training, and business. She finds the blessing of medical retirement to be opportunity to play: to indulge in writing poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.
Jamie’s primary playground is The Poet by Day, the journey in poem (formerly Musing by Moonlight) where at any time you can read five of her most recent poems along with a growing collection of Sunday posts on poetry, poets, and writers. She finds inspiration everywhere and in everyone. Her work is informed by the values of the multicultural/multiracial environment and classical Eastern and Roman Christianity in which she was raised as well as by a more recent introduction to Buddhism. Jamie has an abiding faith in the value of a life of the mind and spirit to heal and in the inestimable value of art and music, poetry and writing as spiritual practice.