changing

my son’s voice is changing
lengthening       widening
his appearance too

when he looks out
is he seeing differently now
or is the world to him unchanged

and how does he see me
has he noticed my changes
is he hearing       is he listening

what are scents to him now
do the same aromas please
are there new hungers developing

i know his palate hasn’t changed
he still eats much the same as before
is that comforting for him

does touch       or any other sense
arouse him now       make his blood flow
or is it still sensory overload

he measures his height       against mine
but I worry about him       inside
as he moves through the chrysalis

the hardness of middle school
will it damage the softness of his boyhood
can he keep some of that unchanged

I fear he will be like me as a teenager
having that angry edge in his voice
just as I am finding again the softness in mine

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Let’s Change It Up prompt at Margo Roby’s Wordgathering.

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9 thoughts on “changing

  1. This is so bittersweet, and familiar of my grown sons. It is good that your changes coincide as it seems the angry and soft edges balance.

    >

  2. Was there an angry edge to your voice when I met you, had it faded by the time we were fast friends. I do know that you were one of the best things to happen to my life, then, and now as I think back on my friendship with you. You were one of the very few people to listen and not be weirded out, even if you weren’t involved in the madness that is my life experience, or at least you never showed it. You were always there for me, and that was a huge comfort, I hope I was there for you at least some of the time.

    I think the best you can do with you boys is to be there for them, be the person they think of when they need to talk to someone, and know that you will be the one who would listen. You always were wonderful to me, I am sure you are wonderful to them as well!

  3. Having two sons go through this… I can relate.
    There were some difficult years. But now as men nearing and into their 30’s I can say that they do…change yet again. And I think they keep some of that softness as well as some of the edge.

    It is difficult to be a parent when you want to be a friend to your children. But the time does come… when you can be friends. At least I think so.

    • Thank you. It’s difficult, but good too. I just worry a lot. I don’t often put that worry into my poetry, but that’s where this one went. This is definitely not a persona poem. I just hope that I’m doing a good job as a father, working through my own stuff so that I can be there for them – completely.

  4. I had one son, two brothers. I remember the angry edge with my brothers. My son was good-natured from the day he was born. Richard, this is a fascinating topic and these lines:

    as he moves through the chrysalis

    the hardness of middle school
    will it damage the softness of his boyhood
    can he keep some of that unchanged

    I fear he will be like me as a teenager
    having that angry edge in his voice
    just as I am finding again the softness in mine

    are superb.

    • Margo, thank you. My son has a good nature, but there has been some anger there. That worries me – the impact of others on him. And, honestly, the impact of me on him. I’m glad you liked those lines. In looking at the poem now, it seems those early stanzas were there just to get to those lines.

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