I've been posting a lot about FirstLock. So here is a poem for Owlboy.He was standing in the driveway, all of four years old.The setting sun at his back sent his shadow stretching out before him.He moved his arms wildly, dancing about to confirm that it was really himWho was casting that long shadow that stretched so far.“Look at me, Daddy!” he cried. Still twirling around in the narrow beam of sun.Learning how to keep himself in that magical area where the big shadows are.The long arms and log legs of his shadow danced along with himProjecting on the driveway the future that awaited.“Am I big enough to ride the bus?” he asked. Surely somebody with such a long shadowIs finally big enough to take the bus to school. It is his daily question. “Am I big enough to ride the bus?”He is always looking for another way to show how big he is.His older brother, who does ride the bus, is struggling mightily to read.So we find the little one with his nose in a book, Sitting cross-legged under the kitchen tableDetermined to show us that he too can learn to read And once he has stretched that far, maybe he too can ride the bus. If only he could read, or write his name, or count to twenty.So he chases his brother down to the bus stop and down the road of life.Watching as he boards the bus, armed with his reading and writing and arithmetic.And he walks back home with Mommy,The early morning sun at his back casting long shadows on the sidewalk.And they play school and she tries to teach himHow to read, and write his name and count to twenty. And while I, of course, want him to learn these things.Those long shadows scare me just a little.For in those tall shadows in the driveway, I see the future.Getting on the bus, learning to drive, leaving home.Not a new or novel thought, I’m sure.But as I watch him dance, I wonderHow much longer he will hug me and kiss me on my cheek as I leave for workAnd how much longer will he dance in the driveway with his long shadow. Wally
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