Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today is my son James's seventeenth birthday, and and I am in a sunny room on an island thinking about how strange it is to have known him for so long. He is the sweetest teenage boy that any parent could wish to love, and I hope he is getting plenty of cake and affection at filmmakers' camp.

Tomorrow, when we pick him up, we will discuss his home birthday celebration. Already he has requested an enormous guacamole feast. This is a boy who likes avocados.

In the meantime, here I am in this sunny room on an island thinking about him.

Boy Land

Dawn Potter

Shoving together

a snowman from slush

and mud and grass,

the boys dance around him

in the sleet, shrieking;

then knock him down

and eat his carrot.

They rip the sails

off a birthday-present

pirate ship that took

all afternoon to assemble.

On sunny days, they pound

shiny Matchbox cars

with rocks to make

demolition derby junkers.

They choke trees with duct

tape, hold up peaceniks

with cap guns,

inform their teachers,

“Well, shit, you know

I hate math.”

On report cards,

a teacher writes: “Work

does not show best effort,”

and sends home a science

paper with one casual

slash of red crayon up the front.

Instead of cleaning their messy

rooms, new cell-phone Ken

and punk-rock Barbie

with no clothes

argue behind closed doors.

Barbie: “Hey! I don’t like you!”

Ken: “Well, I’m going to live alone!”


Aliens drag Barbie away.

[from Boy Land & Other Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2004)]


Julia Munroe Martin said...

Momentus year, that 17. Here's to a great celebration together! (I love the poem & your sunny room sounds lovely)

Maureen said...

Enjoy your time and forthcoming celebration with James. My only turns 23 on Monday. That seems unreal.

Ruth said...

Happy birthday James!! I must say, he is always creative!! Boy Land is the first of your poems that I read. I loved it as I always love those same boys in my classroom!