Monday, June 14, 2021

Goodbye Hug


Holding his sturdy, toddler body close to mine, 

Long, chubby legs dangling, 

Yellow crocs, perfect first shoes to anchor

Wobbly steps. 

Up to now I had seen his face only through a screen

Longed to play and hug him with my own two arms

Heard his voice through a cell phone speaker

Poor substitute for being in the room with his baby talk

Now I breathe in his essence, 

Cheerful, pleasant, happy

Constant smile, curiosity, 

A ball of delight in my own two arms

I watch him giggle, pouring water from red plastic cups, 

Bubbles surfacing, having fun in the bath.

Eyes tracking a dog as it passes by,

Toddler opening his mouth to pant in response.

Eating avocado with crackers, 

Bib catching occasional crumbs.

Outdoors together, 

Feeling the texture of moss 

Covering the base of the tree in his front yard. 

He is new to the world, 

He is new to himself, 

I have a great dent into living. 

We bond over a set of plastic farm animals from my suitcase 

Repeated choruses of “Old MacDonald had a farm,” 

Sending spasms of excitement from head to toe, arms waving. 

Baby babbles add language to our play. 

Sobbing over his shoulder, 

Saying good-bye 

To this sweet, new human, 

Born in a pandemic.

He points to something in the sky, 

Bringing delight to a hard goodbye, 

Too young to realize the meaning of farewell. 

I give him a long squeeze,

Hoping my hug will leave an imprint of his heart on mine, 

Sealed love between grandson and gramma, 

Until we are together again. 

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