Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boy With Curious Eyes

He began his journey to the life of the mind in Panama
A small immigrant boy with curious eyes
One straight, one crossed. Each going their own way.
Drawing was his first great love
The drawing boy hunched down close
Over the paper, and curiously eyed uncrossed unfolded, drew.

His first day of school he angered the school bully
That was a part of his journey too.
I told him to aim for the nose
As my father had never told me.
Because over the years my anger grew.
Which he did and made him bleed.
And so kept himself free.

He played with his cousin Daniela, who had AIDS
Day in day out.
They argued, cried, conspired
Squabbled, loved, drank from the same glass
And he was never afraid.
They loved each other until she was gone
And the boy of uncrossed eyes moved on.

As his eyes unfolded, he fell in love with God
The fatal bargain in him bloomed
I wouldn’t help what had so unhinged me.
Silent, willfully I let the spirit fail and sighed.
Unnourished his spirit, I stood aside
until the great fever passed.
Now I can’t get it back again. Maybe he will.
One should not hate the mountain.

At night we read. The Ink Drinker. Frog and Toad,
His favorites, and Curious George, which he was.
And then came the dinosaurs. And then too old. Too old.
Why did I stop there too?
And how the dinosaurs do miss him.
At night a frog and toad sit at my door and scold.
They blame me too.

Next week, a life later he graduates.
Savvy and knowing. His heart too lacking in illusions.
And how the world has turned and lost its innocence.
His eyes uncrossed and unfolded
Since he first disappeared behind school doors emboldened
When we were all so different.

C. Sanchez-Garcia


  1. Garce, dear,

    Free verse - but it seems somehow appropriate. I wonder if you can show this to your son someday, and whether he might, indeed, understand.

    This seems to be a week for poignancy. Do not, however, allow yourself the luxury of regret. It is a self-indulgence far too dearly bought.

    Serious hugs,

  2. Children don't come with owner's manuals. We all do the best we can, changing what we didn't like about our own parents' style, doing what we enjoyed having them do. But a parents' job is one of planned obsolescence. If you do your job well, they won't need you for very long. Love you, hopefully, visit once-in-a-while, but not need.
    You protect them and encourage them to become what the potential inside of them wants them to become, and hope it brings them some of the joy you feel in watching them grow.

    But, "A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys." They are often amused, my 4 young adults, when Dad and I remind them of the things we enjoyed doing with them when they were our children. They don't always remember...he tells them they will when they have their own he did.

    But sometimes, when I sit talking to them, inestimably proud of how erudite and well-spoken they are, how passionate and intelligent, I think to myself, "You are all wonderful people, but tell me, where are my babies?"

  3. Hi Lisabet!

    I sound more regretful than I am, I just write doleful stuff sometimes when I think of the past this way or that way. I usually don;t write in free verse either, but I've been practicing poetry to try to teach myself some skill with language.

    But yeah, I wish i'd read to him more. I wish I'd encouraged his spiritual life a little more, though he would have quickly seen through mine. And some day, if he's still interested, I want to show all this stuff to him. I can only imagine what a treat it would have been if my Dad has stuff like this I didn;t know about.


  4. Mothers always want grandchildren. I wonder if I'll have grandchildren. My son was the only one of my Dad's grandchildren who really connected with him. In a better world we could have lived in Minneapolis and he would have seen his grandpa all the time. The wind blew us somewhere else. Its so hard to steer out lives the way they should go.