How many months of your tender life
have you and the moon been in deep conversation
as I have held your growing body next to mine,
eavesdropping with delight?
Little Poet, will words be your salvation, too?
At home, the stuffed lions in your crib
roar their ferocious roars
and the storybook roosters
crow their cock-a-doodle-do
and in this wide open
the moon walks with you.
Is he a cool and remote father,
all too often absent and asleep?
Or is she a mercurial mother who weeps
a galaxy of broken stars when each night falls?
“Hello,” you whisper. “Hello.” I hug you tight.
What lies before you as you walk this uneven path
lit by a careless moon?
Will you remember to open wide your arms
and scoop up joy when beauty falls from the sky?
Will you find the words to keep you safe and whole?
Please. Thank you. Goodbye.
“Hello,” I whisper. “Hello.”
by Robin Michel
Finalist, the Knightville Poetry Prize,
published in The New Guard, December 2011