Our middle son, Maximus (now 13), at SeaWorld, when age 4.
I hear his coaches shout "get in the game" and "go after the ball"
I cringe knowing the shouts are directed at him
And I sit in silent anger at myself for putting him here
Giving into the pressure of "You've got to push him"
He'd rather show them there's no reason to
"hustle" and shove, and yell so loud
When there are so many other ways to be
That are easier to be.
When told "get in there and win" he'll ask if it
Matters who wins, if everyone gets a chance to play?
Too soon, he tires of the ball being kicked, and the legs that fly at
You with no warning
Of the elbow that pushes to get at the ball they all want, with shouts of "over here!"
He'll hear someone call his name, barely, but he can't pull away from where his
Attention is drawn
His face looks up to the dandelion wishes that are floating in the morning's soft wind, swirling up
In slow circles,
Scattering seeds away from the field where they play
He wants them to see what he now sees, but they won't want to hear, he's learned that slowly,
By trying before
He stands by himself at the end of the field, as they all run past him, in the opposite direction
Away from the sun that warms the weightless feathery puffs that circle up
As I watch him, my heart aches from seeing in his face that he is beginning to know the truth
Already and that
It will be me that slowly has to tell him, year by year,
That he will have to wait for the time when people will want to hear the words that the poet's
Heart wants to shout.
I wrote this many years ago, when our now 13 year old naturalist son, Maximus, played his first season of soccer when he was about 4.
I'm happy to tell you that since this was written, our son's poetry has gone on to win Grand Prize in our regional area Nature Poetry Contest.
He's also received many a blue ribbon for placing 1st with his art entries at our local County Fair. Maximus submitted an original design Xmas tree ornament that was accepted as the official Governor's Tree Xmas Tree Ornament at our state capitol. He designed the Xmas Card that was selected as our School District's official Holiday Card.
And the list goes on.....
*I apologize for the seemingly haphazard breaks, but Blogger has been messin' with my mind again. It all looks good in preview, but something happens to the layout after "Publish Post."