Lately they come to me,
smelling faintly of
smoke and leaves
and other people's cars.
for renewal and validation,
they come begging,
like street performers
tricks, or grades or funny stories.
Aching for approval or more often,
willing me to open
the mother wallet
and let the spirits move
to finance their dreams,
or their snacks,
or gas for their car.
They come to me
all false bravado and devil may care
the trembling hand
or lowered shifty eyes revealing
haunted hurting hearts.
they come to me
still needing some small goodbye ritual
and never knowing
I can still see them
all blankets and thumbs and small feet kicking.
with more questions than answers.
tilling secret gardens,
proof they are growing away from me,
don't need me
Finding their way
in from the cold
They let me reach for their hand
For a moment
I pull them close and smell their hair
and know they are mine.
Behind stubble and bangs of a nameless color.
they still sweat grass and pool water and wind.
mixed with a secret scent we share,
branded onto my heart
from the first day
I knew them.
Even though they have again stolen my sleep,
overtaken all my prayers
and recklessly wrapped themselves up
in most moments of possible peace.
There is hope
down the hallway
hearts still open wide.