Matthew in the Fountain


In the Fountain 1999

August 1999, age 14 months

In the spray’s scattering
of afternoon rays
           you pass before the sun
a toddling pointed-toe satellite
eclipsing all
but its faint red ghost

Summer haloes you in sun-white down
mottling the concrete’s cool glisten
like a memory from the womb

Watching the world swim into focus
in your smart brown eyes
           your round cheeks
flushing with the kisses of angels
showering from the sky          I realize
in a shutter’s split-second
                          I’ve traversed eternity

My child    you burst open my heart like the sun
bursts infinitely open each fountain drop


This poem appears in my chapbook, THIS BEING DONE, forthcoming with Finishing Line Press, someday (I’ve been hearing that they’re experiencing some delays…). The little cherub featured above, in one of the only decent photos I’ve ever taken in my life (in that the subject isn’t my own thumb, or some stranger’s butt), is my son, Matthew, who’s now 19 (oy!), and whose prowess as a photographer did not come from me. I’ve previously shared an example of his amazing work on the blog HERE.

11 thoughts on “Matthew in the Fountain

  1. Oh yes yes yes!!! Fortunate child and fortunate mother!!! This is just beautiful. You have captured, here, so very precisely one of those moments of completeness that parents sometimes are graced with. Youv’e given voice to what others know and wish they could so vividly, concretely, precisely express. Many parents will read this, as I did, with recognition. Thank you for giving this voice. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One day, many years ago, my daughter was four years old, and we were living in a house on Folly Cove, in in Rockport, Massachusetts. A hot July day. I was stretched out on a sofa, resting. My daughter was running around the yard with her mom. When she came in, she threw herself down on top of me, nuzzled her head into my neck, and lay there. I could feel her little heart pounding against my chest and smell her stinky wonderful child sweat, with a freshness like that of newly mown grass. There we lay, enveloped in this golden sunlight streaming through the window, a sphere of radiance, and I thought, this is it. This is moksha. It doesn’t get better than this, at this moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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