Thomas, it’s part of life’s strange design
that these fresh days
of your green bud years
will be lost to your conscious memory.
You enjoy each laugh, each bath, each hug, each kiss,
each new discovery of taste or touch
and then it evaporates into past tense.
Amidst the daily demands of the ordinary,
your mother and I
try to cage that steam.
For two weeks prior to your birthday,
we drive around Canterbury, Otago and Southland
connecting the dots of your mother’s heritage.
The sky is big down here, Thomas,
and the stars burn with diamond clarity
in its grape-dark canvas.
POET'S NOTE: I'm shamefully indulging in a bit of nostalgia here as my oldest son, Thomas, turns 15 in about 11 days time. In the photo above, he's probably closer to two. This was taken in the playground near the Whale Pool on the foreshore of New Brighton Beach.
From the earliest days of his life, he demonstrated that he was an independent-minded spirit, given to blazing his own trail. Hence, not for him the simple task of sliding DOWN slides. No, he liked to climb UP slides even getting in the way of children attempting to slide. Thomas is a lovely boy and I'm very proud to be his father. He is intelligent, creative, forthright in his opinions, fiercely loyal to his friends and family, curious and vastly interested in the world. He likes to delve deeper behind the stories fed to us by the media and, contrary to what is often posited about teenagers, he has a burning interest in current affairs and the geo-political machinations around the globe. He often tells me things I didn't know about the Middle East or the Baltic States or other areas that seem to crop up regularly in world news.
He looks more like this now...not as overwhelmingly cute but still very handsome: