Forty, the calendar says,
and I cannot believe it.
Not all that long ago, you were walking Linda’s dog
after your day in fifth grade,
your smile wide on your face, as you came in for dinner,
music ready on your Walk-Man.
Not all that long ago, you drove your car to school
your senior year, ready to go off to college
and be a radio rock star,
after years of you and Brian running your radio station
in your bedroom.
Was it the next month we helped you move from one apartment to another,
one warm spring day, boxes of CDs, and a couch
up to the second floor, my back sore
for days, but happy you had a better place.
Was it just last year we flew to Reno,
standing beside you as you became a husband,
that fifth grade walking the dog smile
still wide across your face.
Last month, I dropped you off at the airport,
you telling me about work, and your dreams,
serious talk, between father and son, just like
our trips to the orthodontist
not that long ago.
I’m not much older, am I?
Just because the man in the mirror has gray hair
and looks just like my dad,
and I have a son who’s
Neal Lemery 4/2011