by Ute Carson
Reaching for the Morning Star
Two year-old Lucas doesn’t know
that without my morning Advil
gravity would pull my aging body down
so that my arms could not spread wide in greeting
when his radiant person bounds through the door.
Snuggled on his grandpa’s lap
Lucas doesn’t know
that his beloved reader’s old heart
sometimes skips and jumps more wildly
than the monkeys in the storybook.
When he tosses his head back and says “catch me”
Lucas can’t know
that my feet feel mired as if in sand.
Hopping like a rabbit up the stairs, he giggles
as I creep up behind him at a snail’s pace.
Our little grandson is carefree and safe with us,
enveloped in our seasoned love,
and he in turn inspires us every day,
in spite of a sleepless night,
to get up and reach for the morning star.
Time, Mother of Transformation
I cradle the old man in his dying,
his rough stubble brushes my arm.
He drools like my teething eight-month old.
Did he once snuggle against his mother’s breast?
Before he lost lucidity he told me
he had been a shepherd roaming the Highlands
with his dog Benno.
“One nod of my head and off he went
to bring in the flock.”
Now the old man only mumbles,
“I had a lamb, its fleece as white as snow.”
My daughter has knitted me a lilac mohair scarf
with swishing tassels along its ends.
“It was a struggle,” she says, “to make love more than momentary.”
She began with a simple left-to-right pattern,
then added a spidery loop here and there.
She had to unravel and start again more than once.
Now the shawl reaches down to my waist
revealing complex needle maneuvers,
ridges alternating with smooth stretches.
When I envelop myself in this precious gift,
I feel my daughter’s presence
woven into every stitch.
Riding the Coattails of the Morning Sun
Like a knob-kneed colt
with wild mane flying
I galloped carefree through my youth.
Muddy potholes and thorny hedges
were no obstacles but welcome challenges.
Sparks bounced off my radiant body
as I rode on the coattails of the morning sun.
Now I sit by candlelight,
a crocheted comforter around my shoulders,
recalling old wrongs and shortcomings
as well as the delicate beauties of my life
—and tell stories.