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Happy Mother’s Day – remembering firsts and lasts

Let Me Hold You Longer

Let Me Hold You Longer
a poem by Karen Kingsbury

Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts;
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

First day home from the hospital
First day home from the hospital

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip,
The last night when you woke up crying,
Needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket
Wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me still small enough to hold
The last time when you said you’d marry me when you grew old.

Precious simple moments and bright flashes from your past
Would I have held on longer if I’d known they were your last?
Our last adventure to the park, your final midday nap
The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.

Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.
I never said goodbye to all your yesterdays long past
So what about tomorrow? Will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond
The last that you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn
Silly, scattered moments and bright flashes from your past
I keep on taking pictures, never quite sure of your last.

The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight,
The last time that I tuck you in and pray with you at night.
The last time when we cuddled with a book just me and you,
The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson, the last vacation to the lake
Your last few weeks of middle school, last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days that haven’t come to pass
But as I do I sometimes miss today’s sweet precious lasts.

The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test
The last time when I shout that “Yes! Your room is still a mess!”
The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there
The last time that you spend the night with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass
I want to hold on longer, want to recognize your lasts.
The last thing that you need my help with, details of a dance,
And the last time that you asked me for advice about romance.

The last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams
The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.
I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass
If I could freeze the hands of time, I’d hold onto your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning, you’ll be going far away
College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way
One last hug, one last goodbye, one quick and hurried kiss,
One last time to understand just how much you’ll be missed.

I’ll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed
So let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What do you see?

What do you see?

What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . .. … . . when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man . .. . .. . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice ….. .. . .. . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not .. . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? . .. . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you’re not looking at me..

I’ll tell you who I am. . . .. . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . . .. …. . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . .. who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . .. …. . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . .. And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . .. . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . . .. . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . .. My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . .. . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years …. . . . . and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . . . … … and nature is cruel.
‘Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . .. . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . .. . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . .. . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . … . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man . .. . Look closer . . . see ME!!

There is a story that goes with this poem that has circulated via email, the story is fiction but the sentiments in the poem are all too real….that makes this “story” worth sharing in my humble opinion. Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there too!


 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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