Thursday, January 20, 2022

Holding On


I used to sneak into your room

while you slept

your chubby little arms up over your head

in relaxed tiny fists

the dimples on your cheeks

matched the ones on your hands


no matter how big you grew

no matter how distant your infancy started to feel

I would foolishly measure your little-ness

by those hand dimples


innocent, soft, milky white hands

with sweet short fingers, neatly trimmed nails

tiny peekaboo dimples over each knuckle

assuring me of what still remained:

your baby-ness and mushy-ness and delicious-ness


as long as I could still see those tiny hand dimples

I could believe you were still a baby

My baby

they filled in a while ago

along with your face and shoulders and arms

you are truly living up to your nickname now

The Gentle Giant

your shoulders almost as broad as your daddy’s

your muscles almost as strong


when I hug you

I have to get on my tippy toes

your arms surround me and make me question


at this point

is protecting who


those tiny, boyish, dimply hands are now

nearly the largest in the house

they open jars and lift heavy things

and can now hold me back with ease

when I try to tickle or wrestle with you

like we used to


the sweetness and softness are still there

when you humor me and still let me

hold your hand in the car while I drive

but now my hand is enveloped

swallowed by yours

they are grown-man-hands

but still feel like my baby’s hands


I snuck into your room last night

your now chiseled face was nearly hidden

by your Jurassic Park comforter

your body so big that

one foot nearly touched the wall at the end of the bed

it made my heart sing and ache to see that

your hand was curled around

an orange stuffed dinosaur

but as I leaned in to steal a silent kiss

I most definitely did not see


hand dimples