William James

working class poetry // punk rock performance

STARGAZER

for Gavin


You only seem small now. 

Everything around you towers above your head, 
and time moves at the speed of glaciers, but believe me,
you will grow. The days will become weeks,

turn into months, transform magically into years
and you will grow – fed on the love in your mother's
lullaby kiss and the labor in your father's arms,

you will grow from the frailty of a newborn child
to a sapling fighting for sunlight in the endless canopy
of ancient forest. The only thing you have to fear
is monsters, and they themselves are afraid of light. 

Swallow fireflies whole. Let them live in your throat,
breathe with your mouth always open. They will illuminate
every shadowed corner until nothing is left that can hide.

Believe in kindness. The world is strange, but
often gentle. Every breeze that rustles
through the leaves of your fingers brings with it
a set of blueprints for your future home.

Draw a foundation in the mud with
a branch from your favorite tree, build walls
from portraits of everyone you love. Sketch them in crayon. 

Do not build a roof. 
Do not ever build a roof. 

 

[originally published in Ghost House Review]


 

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