At five, you said to me,
Holding up a hand to show
That finally! Finally you
Were at an age that took up an entire hand.
And today, you take up two.
Ten years old!
Ten years ago,
I sat in a college bar, my shirt stained with
Wing sauce and whiskey,
And took a call from your mother,
She told me that you had just arrived.
You weighed ten pounds, like the sack of potatoes
That we’d buy and peel and put on the grill—
All those summer nights you visited me,
Nights like the Sunday in June you were born.
You had black hair and blue eyes, right from the start;
I looked at the pictures she emailed, all the way from Brooklyn to San Francisco,
And I gasped,
As the connection dialed up and your face finally came into view:
“What a prince we have! “
Ten years, Luke and what of it?
Ten years and three broken bones
No small feat, considering we watched you like a hawk
Watched you tumble off the steps,
Watched you fall hard in your basketball game
That skinny wrist of yours snapped so easily!
And your foot: that I remember well.
Four years old and you picked up my paper weight globe-
I gave it to you later as a gift-
Dropped it right on your foot.
Boy, the shriek that hatched in your throat!
I heard the scream and came running,
lifted you up,
To the ER—I said, and we pretended we were on an adventure,
Two pirates on a ship to the hospital.
Your eyes, shiny with tears crinkled with a smile
When I looked at you in the rearview mirror and
Said “Arrrr matey, arrrrr you ready for adventure?”
Luke, I hope you know
You are my favorite boy,
My king of Kings County
My clutzy little man,
Growing out of trousers and swim trunks and
Passing me in height,
Your hands, sudenly bigger than mine.
I love you ,
Indulge your favorite aunt,
And stay small,
Just another year more.